UAAP Season 81: DLSU snatches last Finals berth
Mark Escarlote on Oct 06, 2018 12:47 PM
De La Salle University set up a championship showdown with unbeaten University of Sto. Tomas.
De La Salle University made short work of University of the Philippines to set up a best-of-three Finals showdown with three-peat-seeking University of Sto. Tomas in the UAAP Season 81 women's beach volleyball.
Lady Spikers Michelle Morente and Tim Tiamzon defeated UP's Isa Molde and Justine Dorog, 21-16, 24-26, 15-9, Saturday in the last phase of the stepladder semifinals.
Marching into the battle with fresh legs compared to their opponents, the Taft-based duo had the extra energy in the tight third set to stave off the hard-fighting Lady Maroons to advance in the best-of-three championship against unbeaten Tigresses Sisi Rondina and Blove Barbon.
The Lady Spikers returned to the Finals for the first time since Kim Fajardo and Cyd Demecillo won it all for DLSU in Season 78.
DLSU broke an 8-8 deadlock in the third with five straight points capped by a Tiamzon ace.
The Lady Maroons stopped the bleeding only to eventually bow down on back-to-back miscues off Molde's service error and Dorog's push that went long.
"Mindset lang namin ni Tin na last push na 'to, na kaya naman namin 'to. Alam kong para sa amin 'to, hindi naman 'to para sa crowd o sa coaches para sa amin naman 'to as a team," said Morente, who is on her first and last beach volleyball championship stint after transferring from Ateneo de Manila University.
The Lady Maroons proved to be a tough nut to crack. After yielding the first set, UP bared its teeth in an exciting windup in the second frame.
The Diliman-based duo erased an 18-20 deficit and saved six match points before stealing the set to force a decider.
UP advanced in the second phase of the stepladder semis after booting out National University's Antonette Landicho and Kly Orillaneda, 12-21, 21-19, 15-6.
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