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MANILA, Philippines – The Adamson Lady Falcons secured the third seed just a week after locking up a Final Four spot for the first time in nearly a decade.
Sustaining their breakthrough run, the Lady Falcons downed the FEU Lady Tamaraws, 25-22, 26-28, 25-15, 25-17, at the end of their elimination-round campaign in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball on Sunday, April 30, at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
Adamson wrapped up its run with a 10-4 record and held a superior quotient to earn the No. 3 spot over UST, which will settle for fourth even with a win over UP later in the day.
The Lady Falcons held a higher 35 match-point total over the Tigresses, who can only achieve a maximum of 30 at the end of the eliminations.
Adamson will face the defending champion NU Lady Bulldogs (11-3) – the No. 2 seed owning a twice-to-beat advantage – in the Final Four starting Wednesday, May 3, at the Araneta Coliseum.
UST, meanwhile, will take on top-ranked La Salle (13-1) in the other semifinal pairing.
Adamson braced for FEU’s strong charge as Khate Santiago led all scorers with 21 points, while Trisha Tubu added 18 markers.
“It is such a great feeling because I just played my rookie season and we already made the Final Four and a top three finish,” Tubu said in Filipino.
“Expect that we will sustain our momentum until the Finals, we will work hard for it,” she added.
Adamson captain setter Louie Romero provided a steady hand with 21 excellent sets on top of scoring 3, while Lucille Almonte also posted a triple-double of 22 receptions, 16 digs, and 10 points.
FEU, though ending its season on a sour note, had four players score in double-figures, with Jov Fernandez leading the way with 18 points on her final game in the UAAP.
Coach Tina Salak’s team ended the season fifth with a 6-8 record – already an overachievement for a squad that only had one win to show last season.
FEU completes men’s semis cast
In men’s action, the FEU Tamaraws completed the Final Four cast after a straight-set win against the also-ran Adamson Soaring Falcons, 25-22, 25-14, 26-24.
FEU’s Mark Calado led all scorers with 25 points stemming from 23 attacks and 2 blocks as the Tamaraws advanced to the stepladder semifinals, where they will face the DLSU Green Spikers on Wednesday.
The winner will go up against the No. 2 UST Golden Spikers for the right to face the NU Bulldogs, who completed a sweep of the eliminations to earn an outright finals spot.
“We will use it as motivation because it is a strong opportunity to get back at them,” said FEU head coach Rei Diaz, whose team went on a five-game skid after their second-round loss against La Salle.
“We can show what the team improved on, because that’s our goal, improving as a team.”
The Falcons gave the Tams a run for their money after pushing hard in the final set, leading 16-14 by the second technical timeout.
However, Dryx Saavedra powered FEU to a 7-1 run to go ahead, 21-17, following a down-the-line kill by Calado.
FEU went to match point following an attack by JJ Javelona, 24-22, but he also committed an attack error, coupled by Adamson’s Francis Casas’ cross-court kill.
Casas then fell short of the net in his next attempt, before Calado shut the door with a backrow attack for FEU’s eighth win in 14 games.
Marc Paulino top scored with 11 for the Falcons, who ended their season at seventh at 2-12. – Rappler