MANILA, Philippines – The La Salle Lady Spikers dug deep to turn back a feisty UP Fighting Maroons in a 25-21, 25-23, 25-21 sweep at the Mall of Asia Arena on Tuesday, May 31.
Rookie of the Year candidate Leiah Malaluan led the grinded-out affair with 14 points off 11 attacks, 2 aces, and 1 block, while veteran blocker Thea Gagate added 12 points off 10 spikes and 2 rejections to help La Salle rise to a 7-3 record, and tie with UST.
From being down 9-15 in the third set due to an Alyssa Bertolano scoring rampage, the battle-tested Lady Spikers mounted a booming 16-6 comeback powered by Malaluan and Jolina Dela Cruz kills, and capped with back-to-back UP errors for the win.
Jewel Encarnacion paced the loss with 16 points, while Bertolano scored 10 in just two sets played.
La Salle now looks to continue its winning streak on Thursday, June 2, as it faces UST in another potential thriller at 12:30 pm. Meanwhile, UP aims to breathe life into its waning Final Four bid with a win against also-ran FEU at the 10 am matinee match.
The Lady Tamaraws will not see playoff action for the first time in eight years after the Adamson Lady Falcons booted them out of contention earlier in the day off a 25-17, 25-17, 25-16 rout.
Louie Romero steered the Adamson cruise with 17 excellent sets, helping four Lady Falcons breach double-digit scoring with Trisha Genesis’ 14-point outing at the helm of the balanced attack.
May Ann Nuique scored 12, while Rizza Cruz, and Kate Santiago chipped in 11 points apiece.
Only Chen Tagaod scored in double figures with 14 in yet another sorry loss as FEU dropped to 1-9 for the season, just above winless UE.
Adamson has no plans to stop its Final Four charge as it next takes on undefeated NU at 4:30 pm, while FEU plays for pride against UP at 10 am. – Rappler.com