University of Santo Tomas fought back from an early two-set deficit to close out Adamson University, 24-26, 20-25, 25-21, 25-23, 15-12, in the second round of the UAAP Season 84 women's volleyball tournament, Thursday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Eya Laure, the UAAP’s leading scorer after the first round, dropped 21 big points to go along with 13 excellent receptions to help the Golden Tigresses clinch their third consecutive win while also keeping their hold of the second spot through a 6-3 win-loss slate.
“Nakakapagod e, we win in a hard way at least ang bottom line is a win is a win regardless of how many sets,” said UST head coach Kungfu Reyes. “Ang ano lang namin, ang learning namin is ‘di kami bumibitaw. ‘Di natatapos ng dalawang sets pero talaga hands up ako sa Adamson talagang ang hirap kalaban, hindi ka puwedeng nagpapabaya otherwise kakainin ka nang buhay.”
Trailing by one in the final set, 11-12, Kecelyn Galdones blocked Lorene Toring’s quick attempt to knot the scores at 12-all. Kate Santiago then failed to get the ball over as Eya Laure and Galdones went for the jugular with a block on May Ann Nuique and an ace, respectively.
UST’s supporting cast showed up to support Laure with Camille Victoria pouring 16 points off 13 attacks and three blocks. Ysa Jimenez also finished in double-digits with 13 points while Ypril Tapia and Kecelyn Galdones added seven markers each.
Janel Delerio manned the floor for the Golden Tigresses with 11 excellent digs and 11 excellent receptions while Bernadette Pepito got 12 excellent digs.
In their first-round match-up last May 17, UST also came out on top in a hard-fought, five-set win 12-25, 25-19, 25-22, 18-25, 15-9.
The Lady Falcons went on a 9-1 blast to erase a six-point deficit and take the opening set for the early 1-0 lead. Adamson then took the second set with ease before the Golden Tigresses snagged the next two to send the game to a fifth set.
Trisha Genesis delivered 23 points on 18 attacks, four aces, and an ace for Adamson while Santiago and Nuique added 18 and 16 points, respectively, as the Lady Falcons dropped to a 4-4 slate.
Lucille Almonte played libero for the first time this season, tallying 14 excellent receptions.
A total of five players finished in double digits for the Lady Falcons with Rizza Cruz and Toring adding 14 and 12 points, respectively.
UST will take on UP next on Saturday at 12:30 PM while Adamson will look to bounce back against UE earlier that day at 10:00 AM. (Dennis Lachica, Sportsmanila Photojournalist)