(Header Photo: The FEU Lady Tamaraws celebrate their win over Adamson)
MANILA, Philippines – The Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws overcame the Adamson University Lady Falcons in a thrilling 4-set game while defending champions Ateneo de Manila Lady Eagles went to the top spot of the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament after defeating the University of the East Lady Warriors last Wednesday, April 6 at the FilOil Flying V Arena.
ADMU won the early game against UE in 3 straight sets (25-15, 25-13, 25-11) and lead the standings at 11-2 while FEU had to wrestle with AdU for 4 sets, finally winning (25-23, 25-22, 20-25, 28-26) and clinching the No.3 spot of the table with a final tally of 9-5.
UE’s loss was their 58th consecutive one, and along with AdU are yet to win in the second round of the tournament. The two will meet on April 13, Wednesday at the MOA Arena.
A Win And No. 1
(The Lady Eagles celebrate their win)
ADMU made easy work of UE in the early game, dominating them 41-14 spikes and taking advantage of their 24 errors, overtaking DLSU to sit top of the table. Team captain Alyssa Valdez finished as top scorer with 17 points.
Jhoana Maraguinot contributed to ADMU’s win with 10 spikes and 2 blocks, while Julia Morado had another outstanding game with all the team’s 27 excellent sets.
Shaya Adorador was UE’s top scorer with 7 points (6 spikes, 1 block), followed by Roselle Baliton who scored all their 5 block points.
(L: Bea De Leon and Pauline Gaston; R: Therese Gaston)
WATCH: Alyssa Valdez’s post-match conference (on the win, Gaston sisters, and Sunday’s game against La Salle) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjNMBt-g5Nw
An Ex-President’s Opinion
(Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, S.J.)
Former president of ADMU, Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, S.J. was in attendance of ADMU’s latest win and expressed his thoughts on the importance of the game against La Salle: “It’s more of a morale booster because either way it’ll be No.1 or No. 2 so we’ll both be twice-to-beat… so in terms of getting to the finals, that is our confidence”.
When asked if being top seed was more important as it would be getting it over La Salle, “It depends, we don’t know who’s No. 3 or No. 4” said Fr. Nebres, who laughed afterwards.
As for his opinion on who he would like to see going into the Top 4: “Well, Ateneo finds it easier to play NU or FEU, UP beat us but they haven’t been doing well lately so I’m not really sure.”
Meanwhile FEU did not find it an easy task to defeat AdU, whose standings are currently at 3-10. The Lady Falcons pushed the Lady Tamaraws in each set, in which an early run in the third set stopped a sweep win and a tense fourth set that finally swayed in FEU’s direction.
Bernadeth Pons was FEU’s top scorer with 19 points (18 spikes, 1 block) followed by Jerrili Malabanan with 11 points (8 spikes, 3 aces). Toni Basas contributed with her 5 aces.
(The Lady Falcons remain winless under interim manager Domingo Custodio [far left])
Bernadette Flora scored 13 points for AdU including 9 spikes and 1 ace, while Jessica Galanza scored 10 spikes and 2 blocks. Fenela Emnas was pivotal by playing out all of AdU’s 18 excellent sets, adding 3 blocks.
The game was full of errors from each team; FEU had 45 while AdU had 32. By clinching 3rd they await the outcome of Sunday’s game between ADMU and DLSU to see who they will face in the semifinals – FEU is yet to win against either of the two this season.
Praise And Preparation
(FEU Coach Shaq Delos Santos speaks to reporters with his daughter)
FEU Coach Shaq Delos Santos was almost speechless in the post-match conference (see video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4bzmbxd0ls), repeatedly giving thanks to God “na-reach na namin yung No. 3 (we’ve reached No. 3)”.
Delos Santos admitted it wasn’t their best performance: “Nagulat nga rin kami (we were also surprised)” but told the players not to think of it as their last game. “Sobrang happy kami sa mga bata kasi kahit na ganyan laro naming, binigay pa rin nila para maipanalo ang game (We’re happy for the team because even though their performance was like that, they still gave their all to win the game).”
He is also happy they had risen from their standing last year, “Ang goal natin siyempre, nasabi na namin iyon, 30th championship but of course hindi ganyan kadali… maga-all out kami (Our goal of course, as we’ve said before, is a a 30th championship but of course is it not that easy… we will go all-out)”.