UAAP FINALS: DLSU staves off feisty FEU to take Game 1
Mark Escarlote on Apr 28, 2018 06:13 PM
De La Salle University moved a win closer to its third grand slam.
Two-time defending champion De La Salle University weathered a tough challenge from Far Eastern University to draw first blood in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball best-of-three Finals series.
The Lady Spikers showed great composure down the stretch to wrap Game 1 in straight sets, 29-27, 25-21, 25-25-22, Saturday inside the Big Dome witnessed by 14,293 spectators.
Game 2 is on Wednesday.
DLSU found itself in trouble in all of the sets before banking on its championship experience to survive FEU's repeated come back attempts.
Graduating opposite hitter Kim Kianna Dy scored 10 points May Luna had nine markers off the bench while skipper Majoy Baron and Tin Tiamzon had eight each for the Lady Spikers, who recieved 34 free points off the Lady Tamaraws' 34 errors including 17 in the pivotal first frame. Des Cheng had an unusual sour outing of just two points in two sets of action.
“During eliminations, hirap na hirap kami sa FEU,” said DLSU head coach Ramil de Jesus.
The mentor felt that their first set win turned the momentum on their favor.
DLSU controlled the match early and was at set point, 24-21, but the Lady Tams fought back to take a 25-24 lead off a Kyle Negrito ace. Negrito threw away a point off a service error but Bernadeth Pons pushed FEU back on top, 26-25.
Back-to-back errors from the Lady Tams gave the Lady Spikers the set point advantage. FEU saved a set point before Tiamzon scored on an attack followed by a wayward hit by Toni Rose Basas as DLSU sealed the opening set.
“Ngayon kung ‘di namin nakuha ang first set, hindi magkakaganoon,” said De Jesus, who is looking to steer the Lady Spikers to their 11th championship and third grand slam since Seasons 66 to 68 and Seasons 73 to 75.
FEU also threatened DLSU in the next two sets. Down 0-2 in the match, the Lady Tams made one final push in the third set as FEU cut a 17-22 deficit to just one, 21-22, after Luna sent her attack straight to the net.
The Lady Spikers answered with two straight points to move at match point but Heather Guino-o scored on a block to save a match point.
But Guino-o blew FEU’s opportunity to extend the match when she sailed her service off the mark.
“Sa kanila basta gumalaw ng tama, dire-diretso eh. Kahit malayo ka di ka nakakasiguro (sa FEU). Sabi ko gumawa lang ng tama kasi yung errors namin ng first set, hindi galing sa ginagawa ng kalaban, mga unforced error na nangyayari sa kanila,” said De Jesus, whose wards committed 21 errors.
Guino-o finished with 14 points as the only Lady Tams in double figures. Pons had was limited to nine markers and had 17 digs and 12 excellent receptions.
Celine Domingo posted eight points Toni Rose Basas also had a quiet outing of six markers for FEU.
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