Lady Tams send Lady Maroons packing

Mark Escarlote on Apr 05, 2017 06:04 PM
Lady Tams send Lady Maroons packing
Far Eastern University kept its Final Four hopes alive and sent University of the Philippines packing for an early vacation.

Far Eastern University ended the University of the Philippines’ season in a result unexpected between two squads in a must-win situation.

The Lady Tamaraws showed the Lady Maroons the exit door and at the same time formally clinched a semis spot in the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball with a 25-16, 25-16, 27-25 win Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.     

Hitters Bernadeth Pons and Toni Rose Basas, who was shifted from opposite to open position, helped graduating skipper Remy Palma extend her collegiate stint and at the same time eliminated one of the top contenders that started the season with a dreamy 4-0 start only to end as the first of the favorites to be sent packing. 

FEU improved to 8-6 win-loss record at fourth spot behind the semifinals-bound defending champion De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila, which are clumped on the top two spots with identical 11-2 cards, and University of Sto. Tomas (8-5).  The Lady Tams are already assured of a spot in the Final Four in case of a three-way tie at 8-6 because of their superior ranking points.  

UST and National University (7-6) will clash on Saturday. In case NU wins the match, the Tigresses and Lady Bulldogs will meet again in a playoff for the no. 4 seat. 

Basas and Pons scored 12 points each and combined for 22 of the Lady Tams' 34 attack points. Heather Guino-o got 11 markers while Palma finished with 10 including five coming off kill blocks.

“I think both physical and mental ‘yung preparation namin. Sobrang ginusto ng players namin na maglaro talaga,” said FEU coach Shaq Delos Santos. “Nakita naman namin na lahat ng pinaghirapan namin, sobrang happy kami. Sobrang thankful.”    

The Lady Maroons’ did their rounds of ‘UP Ikot’ in the third set as the raucous UP crowd rocked the venue with their cheers when the Diliman-based squad threatened to turn a one-sided game in the first two-sets into a real match in the third.

FEU and UP turned it on the third frame with no team building real momentum in a see-saw match that left the supporters of both sides at the edge of their seats.  

The Lady Maroons created an 18-15 gap only to see it disintegrate after the Lady Tams’ five straight points. UP refused to bow down without a fight despite getting behind by three points with FEU at match point.

Graduating player Kathy Bersola tied the frame at 24 for UP. The Lady Tams moved again at match point but Pons overshot her attack on the next play for a 25-25 tie.

But the day belonged to FEU as another Lady Maroons senior Nicole Tiamzon committed back-to-back attack errors that signaled the end of UP’s journey this season with 7-7 slate.

Bersola, Tiamzon and libero Princess Gaiser, whose season ended early due to a left knee injury midway in the season, were in tears after the game as they did their final bow to the UP faithful and their teammates.

Diana Carlos was the only UP player in double figures with 13 points, Tiamzon had eight while Bersola capped her collegiate career with seven. 

 

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