FAR Eastern University won a third straight do-or-die match, nipping University of Santo Tomas, 25-21, 25-15, 20-25, 16-25, 15-6, to bag the remaining semifinals berth in the UAAP Season 77 women’s volleyball tournament last night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Lady Tamaraws used their solid blocking in the deciding frame to thwart the Tigresses’ attacks at the net to avert a huge collapse after winning the first two frames.
“Thank God, kasi naka-survive kami sa fifth set. Nakikita namin yung kumpiyansa ng bawat isa na kahit down kami, kaya naming maka-recover,” said FEU coach Shaq delos Santos. Bernadette Pons had 17 hits and 12 digs, Geneveve Casugod also had 17 points, including five blocks, while rookie Heather Guino-o had a career-game 17 points for the Lady Tamaraws.
FEU will now play third seed National University in the first step-ladder match, a knockout affair, on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. The survivor will take on twice-to-beat De La Salle in the second step-ladder game. It was the Tigresses’ third straight Final Four exit, as they failed to sustain the fightback led by rookie Cherry Rondina in the third and fourth set.
Pam Lastimosa had 19 points and six digs in her final game for UST, while Rondina and Ria Meneses tossed in 11 markers. The Tigresses forced the game’s last deadlock at 2-2 before the Lady Tamaraws rediscovered the form that won the first two sets behind Pons to put the game beyond reach at 13-4.
FEU plays UP in UAAP Men’s Football semis
Defending champion Far Eastern University routed University of the East, 5-0, to finish second and forge a semis duel with last season’s runner-up University of the Philppines, which battled Adamson University to a 1-1 standoff. The Tamaraws collected 30 points in second place while the Fighting Maroons had 28 points in third spot.
The FEU-UP duel, a rematch of last season’s Finals, is also scheduled on Sunday at the Malate venue.
Jess Melliza (3rd, 9th) and Arnel Amita (19th, 37th) netted a brace, while Eric Giganto fired his 16th goal of the season in the 40th for the Tamaraws, who fielded in reigning MVP Paolo Bugas late in the match, his first appearance since going down with a knee injury in the first round.