MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – After 4 years of coming up short, the Tigresses are finally back in the UAAP Final Four.
The University of Santo Tomas has booked the last semifinals ticket in the 79th UAAP Women’s Volleyball tournament after defeating National University in 5 sets, 20-25,19-25, 25-22, 25-21,15-12 on Saturday, April 8 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
In a come-from-behind victory, team captain Sisi Rondina exploded for 22 markers, all from attacks, while EJ Laure likewise put up 22 on 18 spikes and 3 aces for the Tigresses.
Bucking a slow start, the Golden Tigresses finished the second round in dominating fashion as they prevailed in 5 of their last 7 games.
“Manalo, matalo, basta’t tinrabaho namin,” said UST head coach Kungfu Reyes after his team crawled back from two sets down to earn the sweet victory.
“Ngayon, masasabi na namin na Final Four material na kami. We came from 6th place last year, ngayon na-doble na namin.”
(Win or lose, the important thing is that we worked hard for it. We can say that we’re Final Four material. We came from 6th place last year, now we were able to double it.)
NU skipper Jaja Santiago posted a game-high 30 points on 25 attacks and 4 service aces, while Jorelle Singh and Aiko Urdas added 13 and 11, respectively.
Wrapping up the elimination rounds with a 9-5 record, the Espana-based squad has successfully locked in the no. 3 seed, and will face the losing team of the final preliminary clash between league leaders Ateneo Lady Eagles and De La Salle University Lady Spikers later at 4 pm.
The Far Eastern University has earlier secured a spot in the Final Four after eliminating the University of the Philippines in straight sets last Wednesday. The Lady Tamaraws, who now settle for the 4th seed, likewise await the victor of the Ateneo-La Salle contest.
UST (3): Rondina 22, Laure 22, Francisco 11, Meneses 10, Pacres 4, Sandoval 3, Bicar 2, Lastimosa 1
NU (2): Santiago 30, Singh 13, Urdas 11, Sato 9, Doria 9, Nabor 5. – Rappler.com
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