Photo By: Jempoy Pimentel
The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers were stunned by a determined Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws in five sets, 22-25, 25-13, 25-15, 25-27, 8-15, earlier today at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
As the elimination round came to a close, a marquee matchup between two squads took place. Although a non-bearing match for the fourth-seeded Lady Tamaraws, the squad looked determined to end the elims on a high note. On the flip side, the Lady Spikers wanted to secure the second seed and the twice-to-beat advantage that came with it. The clash resulted in a thrilling five setter that showed heart and guts from both squads.
FEU opened up the match guns blazing. The red hot Lady Tamaraws torched La Salle to grab an early 5-0 lead. The Lady Spikers kept their composure and kept the game close. La Salle eventually climbed back to take the lead, 16-10, as the set headed into the second technical timeout. FEU responded off the timeout and regained the lead, 19-18. This time the Lady Tamaraws took care of business and closed the set, 25-22.
With their back against the wall, La Salle showed greater urgency in the second set. The defending champs showed their dominance over their previous finals opponent.
The Lady Spikers got going early and never looked back swiftly ending the set, 25-13.
DLSU carried their momentum over to the third frame but the Lady Tamaraws got going as well. Both squads went blow-for-blow throughout the set. The set was in a deadlock at 14 apiece when La Salle unleashed a ferocious 11-1 run, capped by a hammer from Aduke Ogunsanya which ended the set, 25-15.
The display of dominance did not get the best of the Lady Tamaraws as they continued to fight back. The fourth set was day-and-night compared to the earlier sets. FEU showed signs of life and matched La Salle’s efforts. The set was littered with deadlocks and lead changes that lead to a breathtaking finish. After a hit from May Luna put La Salle at match, Heather Guino-o responded back. An error by La Salle put FEU at set point, but rookie Jolina dela Cruz tied it all up at 25 apiece. The effort was wasted however when La Salle crumbled under the pressure and dropped two straight points off of errors to send it into a fifth set.
The deciding set was not any different from the last sequence of the fourth set. After tying the set at 2 apiece, the Lady Spikers fell apart and surrendered the set, 8-15.
Dela Cruz led the team in scoring with 22 while Luna and Tiamzon got 15 and 17, respectively. For the Lady Tamaraws, Jerrili Malabanan got 15 points while Guino-o scored a game-high 24 points en route to Player of the Game honors.
Support the DLSU Lady Spikers as they try to clinch the twice-to-beat advantage against the UST Golden Tigresses on May 1, Wednesday, 3:30 PM at the Filoil Flying V Centre.