Lady Tams reach Final Four
FAR Eastern University got the job done, making its third straight Final Four appearance with a 25-16, 25-16, 27-25 victory over University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre last Wednesday.
With the season on the line, coach Shaq delos Santos was satisfied with the effort of his Lady Tamaraws to thrive under intense pressure.
“Sobrang ginusto ng players na maglaro talaga,” said Delos Santos, who cited their physical and mental preparation for this do-or-die match. “Nakita naman namin na lahat ng pinaghirapan namin. Sobrang happy and sobrang thankful.”
Bernadeth Pons scattered all of her 12 points from attacks and had eight digs and six excellent receptions, Toni Rose Basas also came through with 12 points while Remy Palma scored half of her 10 points from spikes for FEU.
The Lady Tamaraws were able to survive the marathon third frame after the Lady Maroons committed two errors, a four touches violation on Nicole Tiamzon followed by a net touch violation that closed out the one hour, 24 minute clash.
Earlier, Adamson University saved the best for last, as coach Air Padda finally notched her first win with a 25-15, 25-19, 25-15 tramplinh of University of the East.
Finishing the eliminations with a 8-6 slate, FEU will still make it to the semifinals even if National University beats University of Santo Tomas on Saturday that will forge a three-way tie from third to fifth place.
With the rank points as the tiebreaker, the Tamaraws have the advantage with 26 points, leaving the Tigresses (24) and the Bulldogs (19) battling in a playoff for the remaining remaining Final Four berth.
A win by UST, however will eliminate NU, joining defending champion De La Salle, Ateneo and FEU in the Final Four which will be played after the Easter holidays.
It was a heartbreaking end to UP’s campaign, as the Diliman-based spikers opened the season at 4-0, only to crumble when mattered on its quest for a second consecutive Final Four appearance, losing seven of the last 10 matches.
Diana Carlos and Isa Molde combined for 21 points, while Nicole Tiamzon and Kathy Bersola added eight and seven points in their final game for the Lady Maroons.
Playing without pressure and enjoying every point they scored, the Lady Falcons ended a 20-game losing streak while avoiding their first winless season ever, with Jema Galanza, Joy Dacoron and Bern Flora delivering splendid performances.
“Well, it feels good. I think, we needed this win,” said Padda.
“We just wanted it so badly. Because I think all of our hardwork that we have been putting in all the whole season which started nine months ago. And today, we just wanted them to really represent them and fight with them. We wanted to win this because I think, we deserve it,” she added.
Galanza played her best game of the season for the Adamson with 15 points, 18 digs and 12 excellent receptions while Dacoron and Flora combined for 17 markers.
The Lady Warriors, who were led by Shaya Adorador’s nine points, ended the season tied with the Lady Falcons at 1-13.
In the men’s division, Jerome Sarmiento and JP Yude teamed up for 35 points while Nico Ramirez tossed in 28 excellent sets as Adamson University eliminated UP, 21-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-14, to give idle UST (6-7) a free ride to the Final Four.
De La Salle ended its season a bright note with a 25-20, 25-16, 25-14 victory over UE, as the Green Spikers tied the Falcons and the Fighting Maroons at 5-9.
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
8 a.m. – NU vs ADMU (Men)
10 a.m. – FEU vs UST (Men)
12 noon – UST vs NU (Women)
4 p.m. – ADMU vs DLSU (Women)