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FEU endures 5-set thriller, relegates La Salle to playoff for 2nd

MANILA, Philippines – The FEU Lady Tamaraws survived a bad stretch and dispatched the La Salle Lady Spikers in a five-set thriller, 25-22, 13-25, 15-25, 27-25, 15-8, in the UAAP Season 81 women's volleyball tournament at the Arena in San Juan on Sunday, April 28.

FEU, which ended the elimination round with a 9-5 card, displayed nerves of steel in the final two sets to relegate La Salle (10-4) to a playoff with UST (10-4) for the coveted twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four.

Heather Guino-o delivered 24 points off 20 attacks, 3 aces, and 1 block in the win. 

Jer Malabanan chipped in 15 markers on 12 attacks and 3 aces while Ria Duremdes anchored the Lady Tamaraws with 37 digs and 6 receptions.

On the other side, super rookie Jolina Dela Cruz saw her 22-point outing with 6 aces go to waste as the Lady Spikers lost composure in the clutch.

La Salle looked poised to prevent the game from going the distance after dominating the 2nd and 3rd sets, but FEU forced a decider with a gritty stand in the 4th. 

In the last set, the Lady Tamaraws fired off a 6-2 start before Jolina dela Cruz and Lourdes Clemente patched things to keep the Lady Spikers within striking distance. 

Not giving up, Guino-o and Elize Ronquillo rallied the troops and helped the FEU establish control in the endgame.

Guino-o fired off one more for the Lady Tamaraws to secure a 13-6 gap before Dela Cruz sealed the deal with an outside hit. – Rappler.com