LADY SPIKERS DOWN BLUE EAGLES, SECURE NO. 1 RANKING IN FINAL FOUR ROUND
INTENT of securing the No. 1 ranking in the Final Four round, La Salle just did that from the whistle en route to eking out a clinical 25-22, 25-19, 25-18 victory over fabled rival Ateneo in the UAAP women's volleyball tournament before 5,888 fans at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City yesterday.
Standings W L
*DLSU 12 1
*NU 9 3
*UST 9 3
*AdU 9 4
FEU 6 7
Ateneo 4 9
UP 1 11
UE 0 12
(Filoil EcoOil Centre)
9 a.m. – UST vs NU (Men)
11 a.m. – UST vs NU (Women)
3 p.m. – UP vs UE (Women)
5 p.m. – UP vs UE (Men)
INTENT of securing the No. 1 ranking in the Final Four round, La Salle just did that from the whistle en route to eking out a clinical 25-22, 25-19, 25-18 victory over fabled rival Ateneo in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament before 5,888 fans at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City yesterday.
Shevana Laput stood tallest in the Lady Spikers’ stirring win and couldn’t help but cry a river of joy with her brother and former Green Archer James as she engineered her team’s 12th win in 13 matches.
The lanky 6-foot-2 spiker unloaded 15-of-25 attacks to finish with 16 points, considered as her best game so far for La Salle.
“The victory was amazing. We have to fight harder because we started slow,” said Laput. “It’s against the rival school, a rivalry game, and again, it’s great to be victorious.”
“Points-wise, I had no idea that I actually did that many but I’m proud of myself,” she added.
Fittingly, the victory also extended the Lady Spikers’ winning streak against the Blue Eagles to 12 matches way back on May 2, 2017.
UST completes Final Cour cast
Before the La Salle-Ateneo match, Eya Laure racked up 28 points on 23-of-47 attacks spiced with three service aces and two blocks as the University of Santo Tomas completed the Final Four cast with a 26-24, 22-25, 25-16, 25-23 win over Far Eastern University.
The Tigresses also drew huge games from libero Det Pepito, who collected 21 digs and 19 receptions, and setter Cassie Carballo, who tossed in 17 excellent sets, to claim the remaining spot.
“Final Four, thank you Lord! B7 activated especially nung latter part ng laro,” said coach Kungfu Reyes, referring to Pepito, who keyed UST’s fourth set conquest. “Si Detdet ang hinahanap namin nung first set, second set at least nag-activate yung B7 namin.”
Aside from Pepito, Laure was also huge in the fourth set, drilling in back-to-back service aces that shattered the match’s final deadlock at 17-17 and capped the Tigresses’ 5-0 run that erased the Lady Tamaraws’ three-point lead.
UST is now training its eyes for the remaining twice-to-beat Final Four bonus, as the España-based side is currently tied with defending champion National University at 9-3 in second place, and holds a half-a-game lead over fourth-running Adamson (9-4). The Tigresses and the Lady Bulldogs clash on Wednesday, with the winner moving closer to securing the semis incentive.
Imee Hernandez followed up her career game against Ateneo with 19 points, logging three of UST’s 10 blocks.
The Lady Tamaraws may have been eliminated in the Final Four race with their seventh loss in 13 matches, but Reyes praised the Morayta-based spikers for their huge turnaround from last year’s one-win season under rookie coach Tina Salak.
“Actually isa sila sa nag-rose from the ranks. Ang ganda ng itinakbo ng team nila, nothing to be ashamed. They performed well. Kudos to all coaching staff, especially kay coach Tina. I’m happy for them,” said Reyes.
Mitzi Panangin had two blocks for a 12-point output while Gerzel Petallo added 11 points and five digs for FEU.
The Lady Tamaraws took the opening set but the Tigresses were able to figure out their weaknesses to prevail.
In the men’s division, FEU halted a four-match slide while keeping its Final Four hopes alive with a 25-21, 22-25, 21-25, 25-21, 15-10 victory over UST.
Playing in their fourth five-setter in the last five contests, the Tamaraws gained a favorable result this time, chalking up their seventh win against six losses to remain in the top-four range.
“Tiyaga pa. ‘Yung panalo magandang sign para sa team, magandang pangtaas ng morale. I hope mabitbit namin sa next game,” said FEU coach Rei Diaz.
Mark Calado had 21 points and seven digs, Dyrx Saavedra pitched in 16 points while JJ Javelona scored four of the Tamaraws’ nine blocks.
Josh Ybañez unloaded 28 points on 27-of-52 attacks with 17 receptions and six digs as the Golden Spikers saw their eight-game winning streak snapped to fall at 10-2.
FEU got 45 points off UST’s errors.