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MANILA, Philippines – The Adamson Lady Falcons pulled off the biggest shocker yet in the Shakey’s Super League (SSL) National Invitationals.
Defying the odds, the Lady Falcons stunned the La Salle Lady Spikers in a five-set heart-stopper, 22-25, 25-17, 17-25, 27-25, 16-14 in Game 1 of the best-of-three finals on Wednesday, August 9, at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
The Lady Falcons survived two extended sets, even erasing a huge 11-20 deficit in the fourth frame before pulling through by a whisker in the clincher.
Skipper Lucille Almonte kept Adamson afloat all throughout with 24 points, including 3 aces, to power the Lady Falcons within a win of claiming the crown over the reigning UAAP women’s volleyball champions.
Adamson will shoot for a series sweep in Game 2 at 4 pm on Saturday, August 12, also in San Juan.
Red Bascon delivered when it mattered the most, none bigger than her back-to-back hits to seal it for the Lady Falcons. She finished with 7 points.
Ayesha Juegos had 13 points while Sharya Nicole Ancheta and Lorene Toring added 10 apiece in Adamson’s well-balanced attack under new coach JP Yude.
“I always tell them I trust them,” said Yude, a former Adamson player, in his first tournament since taking over from Jerry Yee in June.
“That’s why I always encourage them, especially in the fourth set when we were down, I told them the battle isn’t over. The score hasn’t reached 25, so let’s take it a point a time. Let’s be patient.”
La Salle – riding on a five-set semifinal win against the University of Santo Tomas from a 1-2 deficit, including multiple match points saved – looked headed into an easy four-set win against Adamson by building what seemed an insurmountable 20-11 lead off a Thea Gagate hit.
But Adamson simply refused to go down and quit.
With Almonte setting the tone, the Lady Falcons launched a killer 11-1 rally capped by Ancheta’s quick attack in the middle to snatch the driver seat at 22-21.
Both teams traded blows from there on, with each one reaching match point, before Bascon unloaded two straight hits for a 27-25 win to extend the match to the fifth set.
As they figured in a back-and-forth decider anew, Bascon would not shy away from the big stage by hammering through another back-to-back attack for Adamson’s great escape act.
Shevana Laput rifled in a tournament-high of 30 points but La Salle still absorbed its first defeat in the 12-team tournament.
Thea Gagate and Alleiah Malaluan added 14 points for the Lady Spikers while Baby Jyne Soreño had 11 points. – Rappler.com