The Lady Tamaraws of the Far Eastern University stunned the La Salle Lady Spikers in five thrilling sets, 15-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-21, 16-14, at the MOA Arena Sunday to save their season and championship bid.
FEU did the same thing in the second round of the eliminations, but failed to score a win against the Lady Spikers. This time, the Lady Tams made sure that the win won’t get away. They virtually erased La Salle’s twice-to-beat advantage in the series.
Leading by two sets to none, La Salle was seemingly poised to sweep FEU and book a date with arch rival Ateneo, but FEU had a different thing in mind. Behind the efforts of Bernadeth Pons and captain Remy Palma, the Lady Tams refused to roll over and die and completed a comeback after trailing by five, 13-18 in the third set.
Obviously revitalized, FEU made a strong start in the fourth set, taking an 18-13 lead in the crucial stretch. However, Mika Reyes pulled La Salle closer to 17-18 with her strong serves. Pons and Palma stifled La Salle’s uprising with clutch hits to send the match to a fifth set.
In the fifth set, both teams slugged it out to gain the advantage. La Salle almost closed out the game at 13-11, but FEU still got to set point first at 14-13. A service error by Heather Guino-O tied the set at 14-all, but the Lady Spikers committed two costly errors of their own to hand the match to FEU.
The trio of Pons, Palma, and Toni Rose Basas combined for 57 big points in the fight back. Setter Gyzelle Sy dished out 53 excellent sets, but it was her team’s excellent floor defense that spelled the difference in the game. The girls off Morayta had a whopping 102 digs that kept long rallies and frustrated La Salle’s spikers.
Kim Dy led four other Lady Spikers in double digits with 20 points built on 17 spikes and three blocks. Ara Galang and Cyd Demecillo scored 14 apiece, while Majoy Baron and Mika Reyes had 13 and 10 points, respectively.
The deciding match of the semifinals is set on Wednesday with the title series to start on Saturday. The winner earns the right to face defending champion Ateneo in a best-of-three series.