UST dominates FEU, boosts bid for twice-to-beat semis bonus
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – University of Santo Tomas (UST) fueled its bid for the twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four of the UAAP Season 81 women's volleyball tournament.
UST had FEU’s numbers in their second round matchup as it trounced the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws in straight sets, 25-23, 25-18, 25-23, on Sunday, April 14, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Both UST and FEU entered the game already assured of Final Four berths after the University of the Philippines’s loss to National University in the first game.
The win, though, remained crucial as it boosted the Tigresses' chances of making it to the top 2 – currently occupied by Ateneo (10-2) and La Salle (9-3) – with a 9-4 record. FEU slipped to 4th place with an 8-5 card.
Only the top two teams at the end of the elimination round will secure a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals.
Sisi Rondina led UST with 21 points off 17 attacks, 3 blocks and 1 ace while making 15 excellent digs and 12 excellent receptions.
Despite accomplishing their first goal of securing a Final Four berth, the Golden Tigresses still aim for a strong finish in the elimination round.
“Medyo maganda ’yung ranking ngayon kasi safe na yata kami sa Final 4,” said UST head coach Emilio “Kung Fu” Reyes. “So again, meron pa kaming remaining games. Gusto naming tapusin in high note ang elimination.”
(Our ranking is good enough to be safe in the Final Four. So again, there are still remaining games. We want to finish the elimination round on a high note.)
Heather Guino-o led FEU with 14 points off 11 attacks, 1 block and 2 aces.
After surviving a nail-biting opening frame, the Golden Tigresses never looked back and sustained their merciless momentum.
Midway through the 2nd set, UST pulled away to 17-10 and raced to set point thanks to Eya Laure’s attack, 24-15.
FEU sparked a 3-0 spurt in an attempt to rally back but Alina Bicar gave UST the 2-0 match advantage.
Laure scored back-to-back aces for an 8-2 start to the 3rd set which gave UST enough cushion to keep the lead.
FEU, however, later staged another comeback with a 5-0 run as Heather Guino-o fired two aces. Gel Cayuna’s drop and Caitlin Viray’s error had UST surrendering the lead to FEU, 22-21.
Rondina’s attack went through the block to knot the score before Laure later sealed the win for UST. – Rappler.com