Defending champion Far Eastern University (FEU) beat La Salle, 16-25, 27-25, 25-21, 24-26, 15-10, Sunday to gain headway in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) women’s volleyball best-of-three finals series at the packed The Arena in San Juan.
Mecaila Morada topscored with 22 points while Rachel Daquis connected on 18 hits as the Lady Tamaraws stepped closer in successfully defending the crown they won last year.
The Tamaraws go for the title via sweep on Wednesday, 4:00 p.m. at The Arena in San Juan.
“Siguro naging advantage talaga namin ‘yung experience. Natalo kami noong first set pero nakabawi kami. Hindi kami puwede ‘yung na-rarattle. Lumaban sila at ginagamit nila ‘yung isip sa paglalaro (I think experience is our advantage. We lost the first set but we bounced back. We must not be rattled with our game. My players fought hard and stuck with our game plan),” said FEU coach Nes Pamilar.
Shaira Gonzalez had 17 points for FEU but twisted her right ankle in the fourth set and did not return to action as La Salle came back to force a rubber.
But FEU never faltered in the fifth as setter April Jose scored before La Salle committed two errors giving the Lady Tamaraws a 10-6 advantage. Morada’s attack at match point sealed the game for the Lady Tamaraws.
Jacqueline Alarca had a team-high 20 points while Stephanie Mercado chipped in 16 points for the Lady Archers, who only had one loss prior to Game One.
FEU was at match point in the fourth on a La Salle reception error, 24-23, but Gonzales crossed the net as she sustained that injury. The Lady Archers stayed alive when Alarca scored to force a deciding fifth set.
In the second set, the Lady Tamaraws broke a 22-all deadlock on attacks by Daquis and Morada. The Lady Archers forced a tiebreak but a service error from La Salle’s Charleen Cruz and a kill by Morada gave the Lady Tamaraws a 27-25 win to tie the game at 1-set apiece.
A 6-2 run led to a 21-17 FEU edge en route to the third set victory. – GMANews.TV
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