THE late surge of the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws in the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament continued yesterday as they defeated the University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons in straight sets in their do-or-die encounter and in the process entered the Final Four.
Practically covering all bases, the Morayta-based Lady Tamaraws proved too much to the Lady Maroons en route to the 25-16, 25-16 and 27-25 victory that clinched for them the semifinal spot while eliminating UP in the running.
Earlier in the day, the Adamson Lady Falcons finally barged into the win column, beating the University of the East (UE) Lady Warriors in three sets, 25-15, 25-19 and 25-15, to stave off a winless season.
First set between FEU and UP got off to a competitive start with both teams not budging.
The Lady Tamaraws, however, were the first to break loose, banking on its crisp serving and capitalizing on UP’s unforced errors at the midway point of the frame before sprinting to finish things.
Second set went the same route, with the teams going back and forth early after which the Lady Tamaraws went on a roll and never looked back.
In the third frame, UP galloped to a 10-6 lead only to be caught up by FEU at 10-all.
The Lady Maroons held a slim one-point lead by the second technical knockout,16-15, but it was not enough to deter the Lady Tamaraws.
FEU overtook UP, 19-18, and steadily held on amid a last-ditch effort by the latter to salvage the set to seize the victory.
Bernadeth Pons and Chin-Chin Basas led the way for FEU with 12 points each while Heather Guino-o had 11 and Remy Palma 10.
UP, for its part, was paced by Tots Carlos with 13 points.
The win was the third straight victory by the Lady Tamaraws, who have successfully turned their fortunes around after being left outside looking in in the Final Four picture at one point in the tournament.
“We are for this win. It’s a result of a lot preparation and the players wanting the win,” said winning FEU coach Shaq Delos Santos.
“In the semifinals, regardless of who we face, we will prepare for them,” he added.
By virtue of a higher quotient, FEU (8-6) has secured a semifinal spot regardless of the outcome of the contest between the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses (8-5) and the National University Lady Bulldogs (7-6) on Saturday which potentially could force a logjam at 8-6.
For UP (7-7), the defeat was a tough ending to what was a promising start to the season that saw it win its first four games.
In the first game, Adamson gave its American coach Airess Padda her maiden University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) win in its final game of Season 79.
Playing loosely and with more bounce to their game, the Lady Falcons finished what was a rough campaign for them on a positive note with the elusive victory.
It also snapped for Adamson a 20-game losing streak that dates back to Season 78.
Portent of things to come for them in the game, the Lady Falcons got off to a fast start, racing to a 14-7 lead midway into the opening set before holding on to close out the frame.
The second set saw Adamson pinning UE early, building a 16-9 advantage by the second technical knockout.
The Lady Warriors charged back thereafter, closing the gap at 20-17 but failed to take it all the way to go down two sets to none.
In the third set, the two teams jostled early before Adamson took off anew to separate itself from UE, 16-8, three-fourths of the way.
Sensing that they have taken much wind out of the Lady Warriors, the Lady Falcons propelled further and brought home the win.
Captain Jema Galanza showed the way for Adamson with 15 points, 13 off spikes.
Joy Dacoron had 10 while Bernadette Flora finished with seven points.
UE, meanwhile, was led by Shaya Adorador’s nine markers.
“We, the coaches, are very proud of the players. This may be one win but for us it’s equivalent of 10 wins after we what we have gone through,” said Coach Padda after their win over UE.
“The team deserved a win. I deserved a win. We worked hard in training and I’m happy it all came together today,” added the Adamson coach, whose wards tied UE with a 1-13 record to finish their campaign.
“Team work did it for us in this game. Everybody contributed and I’m happy we got this win,” Galanza, for her part, said.