UAAP VOLLEYBALL: FEU books Finals ticket for the first time in nine years
Mark Escarlote on Apr 21, 2018 07:15 PM
Far Eastern University claimed the first Finals seat.
Far Eastern University ended a nine-year championship appearance drought after booting out Ateneo de Manila University, 25-20, 25-21, 14-25, 25-19, Saturday in the Final Four of the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the MOA Arena.
Graduating hitter Bernadeth Pons led the twice-to-beat Lady Tamaraws' return in the Finals for the first time since the school’s runner-up finish in Season 71, spoiling the Lady Eagles’ bid for a seventh straight championship appearance.
Pons scored 17 points with 15 coming off attacks while adding 19 excellent receptions and 16 digs for an all-around performance for FEU, which last held the crown back in Season 70.
Toni Rose Basas had 17 markers while Celine Domingo had eight points for the Morayta-based squad, which is on the right track in its bid to claim its 30th crown overall.
“Speechless,” said first year FEU coach George Pascua. “Pinaghirapan namin 'yun, pinlano namin talaga, nag-usap-usap kaming mga players, ang dami naming sinakripisyo para makarating dito dahil 10 years na medyo isang dekada na wala sa Finals ang FEU.”
The Lady Tams overhauled a 9-11 deficit in the fourth set with a scorching run to reach match point, 24-16. Ateneo saved three match points before setter Kyle Negrito denied Jho Maraguinot's attack to seal the victory.
FEU will await the survivor between top seed grand slam-seeking De La Salle University and National University on Sunday for its opponent in the best-of-three Finals.
Kat Tolentino and Jho Maraguinot finished with 11 points each for Ateneo, which closed the season with three straight losses. Jules Samonte and Bea De Leon combined for 14 markers for the Lady Eagles, who received 41 free points off FEU's errors.
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