Ateneo Lady Eagles fend off FEU Lady Tamaraws, set up Finals rematch against La Salle
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED)— It's another blue versus green Finals, after all.
Refusing to go into a do-or-die clash, the Ateneo Lady Eagles shook off a 3rd set loss and pounced the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws, 25-22, 25-10, 16-25, 26-24 to advance to the 79th UAAP Women's Volleyball Championship round on Sunday, April 23 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
The Lady Eagles looked on their way of sweeping the semis showdown as errors in service and reception hounded the Morayta-based squad in the opening sets. But a turnaround midway through the 3rd set gave the Lady Tamaraws momentum as they were able to steal one from the league leaders.
The Lady Tams once again erased Ateneo's early lead in the 4th to claim the first set point, but the Lady Eagles remained composed as they rallied their way to a 26-24 victory to clinch a seat in the Finals.
"Iba ang elims, iba ang finals," said captain Jia Morado when asked about the upcoming championship round against La Salle. "Focus namin is mag-champion, walang bawian," added Jho Maraguinot. (The eliminations is different from the finals. Our focus is to win the championship, not to get back on La Salle)
Michelle Morente had a game-high 16 markers, 12 from attacks and 3 from aces, while Maraguinot and Bea de Leon had 14 and 12, respectively.
Morado listed 5 points to go with 51 excellent sets, while Kat Tolentino added 8.
Bernadeth Pons paced FEU with 14 points, all from attacks, while graduating skipper Remy Palma closed her UAAP chapter with 12 markers on 9 attacks and 3 aces.
Defending champions De La Salle University Lady Spikers have earlier secured the first championship berth after a 4-set victory against the no. 3 seed University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses on Saturday.
The best-of-3 Finals series will commence on Saturday, April 29.
ADMU (3): Morente 16, Maraguinot 14, De Leon 12, Tolentino 8, Morado 5, Gopico 5, Gequillana 1
FEU (1): Pons 14, Palma 12, Villareal 9, Guino-o 7, Basas 5, Cayuna 2, Hernandez 1.