MANILA, Philippines – The UST Golden Tigresses bucked a first-set scare to the winless UE Lady Warriors before running away with a UAAP Season 84 Final Four-clinching sweep, 26-24, 25-18, 25-19, at the Mall of Asia Arena on Tuesday, June 7.
Ypril Tapia led the balanced attack with 13 points, all off attacks, while MVP candidate Eya Laure scored 12 with 12 excellent receptions, and 7 excellent digs as UST rose to a 9-4 slate in third place right behind 9-3 La Salle.
Coming off a first set heist where Ja Lana gifted back-to-back error points for the 26-24 decision, the Tigresses ripped apart the 0-13 Lady Warriors in the final stretch of the second with a 10-2 finishing kick capped by a Mafe Galanza dump for the two-set lead.
UST wrote pretty much the same story in the third as one final 8-1 rally, ending with an Ysa Jimenez hit, finished off the Lady Tamaraws for good.
“The girls’ composure will always come. We just reminded them that they have to be aggressive all the time,” said UST assistant coach Yani Fernandez in Filipino. Head coach Kung Fu Reyes missed the game due to personal reasons.
No UE player breached double-digit scoring as Lana led the way with just 9 points, while Dara Nieva scored 8.
In a similar tale of first-set surprises, the NU Lady Bulldogs also bucked a stunning opener loss before walloping the FEU Lady Tamaraws in the latter three frames for the 24-26, 25-17, 25-19, 25-10 win.
Now holding a 13-0 record, the top-seeded Lady Bulldogs are just one win away from clinching an outright finals berth while the Lady Tamaraws skidded further down to a 1-12 slate off their 10th straight loss.
Super rookie Bella Belen topscored anew with 18 points, all off attacks, plus 9 excellent receptions, and 8 excellent digs, while star libero Jen Nierva anchored the defense with 18 excellent digs, and 12 excellent receptions.
Sheena Toring scored 12 off 9 attacks, 2 blocks, and an ace, while Alyssa Solomon and Ivy Lacsina added 10 and 9 points, respectively.
On the other end, Jovelyn Fernandez saw her season-best 16-point outing go to waste in the loss, while Chenie Tagaod backstopped with 11 points as the only other FEU player in double figures.
NU can complete its historic, sterling run to the finals with a win over UST in a blockbuster match on Thursday, June 9, 4 pm, while FEU shoots for a repeat of its only season victory against UE at the 10 am matinee. – Rappler.com