Tams, Bulldogs clash in do-or-die match for last Finals seat

Mark Escarlote on Apr 26, 2017 09:31 AM
Tams, Bulldogs clash in do-or-die match for last Finals seat
Far Eastern University and National University square off in a sudden death stepladder semifinals showdown for the right to challenge two-time defending champion Ateneo de Manila in the Finals.

Far Eastern University and National University cross paths one last time Wednesday for the right to face three-peat seeking Ateneo de Manila in University the 79th UAAP men’s volleyball best-of-three Finals.

The do-or-die stepladder semifinals clash is set at 2:00 p.m. at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan where the winner will clinch the last championship berth.

The match will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166 and via livestream. 

With their backs against the wall, the Tamaraws pulled off a shocker last Sunday when the Morayta-based squad negated the Bulldogs’ twice-to-beat advantage with a 22-25, 26-24, 28-26, 25-17 win to force a sudden death.

Graduating hitter Greg Dolor finished with 14 points while outgoing setter Ronchette Villegas tallied 44 excellent sets to lead FEU’s second straight survival win after hurdling University of Sto. Tomas in the opening phase of the stepladder semis.     

“Ibibigay na namin ang best namin,” said Tams coach Rey Diaz. “Although talagang sa height talagang underdogs kami pero sabi nga ni coach Kid (Santos) wala namang malaking nakakapuwing. Sana mapuwing ulit namin sila sa Wednesday.”

Even with momentum on their side, Diaz added that they can’t be too complacent against the team that has beaten them twice in the elimination round.

“Iniiwasan naming mag-relax at magkompiyansa. Kailangan push pa rin, laging go hard,” added Diaz, who is trying to steer the Tams back in the Finals since their last stint back in Season 75 where they lost to the Bulldogs.

NU, meanwhile, is looking for its fifth straight Finals appearance and fourth championship showdown in a row against the unbeaten Blue Eagles, who advanced in the Finals outright after sweeping the 14-game elims.

The Finals series starts May 2 at the Big Dome.

Game 2 is on May 6 while Game 3, if necessary, is on May 10 both also at the Big Dome.

 

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