Lady Spikers fall to gutsy Lady Tamaraws in five sets

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.

THREE-PEAT! DLSU Lady Spikers sweep FEU for Season 80 crown

The crown remains in Taft Avenue after the De La Salle University Lady Spikers defeated the brave Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws, 26-24, 25-20, 26-24, on Wednesday, May 2, in front of more than 14000 fans at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The victory gave the school its third straight championship and 11th overall, two days after the 367th birthday of founder St. John Baptist de La Salle.

With the jam-packed crowd already up on their feet as the three-peat-seeking Lady Spikers arrived at championship point, the Lady Tamaraws just refused to give up, stringing consecutive points in a wild turn of events to erase the gap and extend the third set. The defending champions, however, were able to get back on track at a no better timing as they connected back-to-back points to cap the season with the bacon.

The Lady Tamaraws, looking to spoil an early La Salle party, jumped off to a 3-6 lead in Set 1. They extended the lead to four, 7-11, with a Heather Guino-o off-the-block hit. The Lady Spikers remained behind heading into the second technical timeout, 12-16. Subsequently, third year spiker May Luna, Best Player in Game 1, brought La Salle to within one, 18-19. But, the Lady Tamaraws were quick to counter. Graduating FEU spiker Bernadeth Pons sent her team to set point, 24-21. That forced La Salle head coach Ramil de Jesus to call a timeout. Coming off the timeout, La Salle shocked FEU with a 5-0 run to steal the set from FEU, 26-24. Kim Kianna Dy unleashed the #swag including an attack from the middle which gave them the lead, 25-24.

It was a different story in the second frame. Contrast to Set 1, La Salle maintained the momentum and rose to a 7-4 cushion over FEU. Luna hit a punishing attack that pushed the Green and White’s lead to five, 12-7. Moreover, that even proved to be a spark as they strung three more points. Third year hitter Tin Tiamzon capped it with an ace to mount a 15-7 edge over the Green and Gold. FEU started to come alive midway through the set, slowly trimming their deficit to three, 17-20. But, Dy fired back-to-back markers to bring La Salle up by five, 22-17, anew. The Taft-based squad held on to win the set, 25-20, and take a commanding 2-0 lead over the Morayta-based squad.

Not wanting the third set to be their last chance, FEU toughened up on both ends. The Lady Tamaraws did not allow any pull-aways from the Lady Spikers early in Set 3. The Game 3-seeking squad answered every La Salle point as the score remained knotted at 10-all. Eventually, the Green and White regained the lead, 14-11, following a gift from middle blocker Aduke Ogunsanya. An ace from Luna gave La Salle a 21-16 lead, making them four points away from the championship. Sophomore setter Michelle Cobb fired another ace to push the Lady Spikers to championship point, 24-20.

However, just as when everybody was ready to celebrate the championship, FEU turned the tables around. Things suddenly started to get more intense. In an unexpected turn of events, action saw nerves wracking as FEU continued to hold on to the game. The Lady Tamaraws #suwagged their way to erase a four-point deficit and tie Set 3 at 24-all. But, the Lady Spikers, being the more composed team, eventually tamed the Lady Tamaraws’ rally. Dy capitalized on an opening, bringing La Salle to championship point anew, 25-24. Tiamzon finally finished the match with a crosscourt from the left wing, 26-24.

Graduating Lady Spikers Kim Kianna Dy, team captain Majoy Baron, and Dawn Macandili led the team for the last time in their UAAP careers. Dy, Season 78 Finals MVP, top-scored with 19 points on 16 attacks, two blocks, and a serve. Baron, Season 78 Best Blocker and Season 79 MVP, finished with 10 points. Macandili, Season 78 Best Digger and Seasons 78 and 79 Best Receiver, tallied 21 excellent digs and eight excellent receptions. Macandili also claimed the Finals MVP award after averaging 22.5 excellent digs and 10.5 excellent receptions in the series.

On the other hand, graduating Lady Tamaraw Bernadeth Pons finished with a team-high 17 points in the losing effort. Best Blocker Celine Domingo came up next to her but with a far seven-point output.

The Lady Spikers had never tasted a defeat since losing against Adamson University way back in the first round. That was when coach Ramil de Jesus branded their lackluster as “pambarangay” level. They swept their remaining assignments in the eliminations. Finally, they made quick works of their postseason opponents to make it an 11-game winning streak.

La Salle’s 11 championships still remain behind long-time UAAP member schools FEU (29) and UST (15). Nonetheless, the DLSU Lady Spikers are now 11-7 in the Finals, all under head coach Ramil de Jesus. Moreover, they clinched an unprecedented third grand slam in the Women’s Division since the Final Four era. They had won their first two three-peats in Seasons 66 to 68 and 73 to 75.

Scores:

DLSU (3) 77 – Dy 19, Baron 10, Tiamzon 10, Ogunsanya 7, Luna 6, Cheng 3, Cobb 1, Barroga 0, Layug 0, Macandili 0, Tiu 0, Instrella 0, Saga 0, Ipac 0.

FEU (0) 68 – Pons 17, Domingo 7, Guino-o 6, Malabanan 6, Villareal 4, Basas 2, Carandang, 2, Cayuna 1, Negrito 1, Hernandez 0, Duremdes 0, Agudo 0, Calinawan 0, Atienza 0.

DLSU Sports Round-Up: Lady Spikers vs Lady Tams in Game 1

The UAAP Season 80 Women’s Volleyball Finals began last Saturday and it was the defending champs, DLSU Lady Spikers, who came out on top after a 29-27, 25-21, 25-22 victory over the FEU Lady Tamaraws in Game 1.

DLSU Sports writers Khyte Mendoza, Karl Dela Cruz, and Genrev Villamin shared their Game 1 thoughts, analyses, and their predictions for the second game tomorrow, May 2.

Takeaways from Game 1:

Khyte – The first game was the longest and the most nerve-wracking three-set match I could remember. DLSU swept FEU, but it wasn’t easy. The Lady Tams earned much more respect from the La Salle faithful because of that fight. Stars haven’t shown up yet, though. Pons had nine points and only Guino-o came to help (still credit to La Salle’s defense). Cheng had an off night and sat on the bench, while Luna was a spark. I keep on saying this: the Taft squad has championship experience. Clearly, FEU had jitters, especially at the start of the first set.

Karl – Personally, I thought that the first Finals Game was a summary of how tight La Salle and FEU’s matches were in the eliminations. Yes, the Lady Spikers may have beaten the Lady Tams in a sweep but those were hard-fought sets with the outcome still in question. Fortunately for the Lady Spikers, the erratic plays of FEU and their unfamiliarity of a big crowd paved the way for DLSU to bank on the end-game and eventually winning the match. Championship composure was the key component of the Lady Spikers to take the game. It was as if the eliminations matches which both the Lady Spikers won in five sets were compressed in a straight set match in this game.

Genrev – Before the series started, I thought that it would be a very close match between the protagonists. It sure was in the opening set. However, the Lady Spikers’ experience in the Finals stage has definitely helped them gain their composure. And that composure was the key to beating a gritty FEU squad. Yes, the Lady Tamaraws were able to limit Desiree Cheng’s performance. But, May Luna happened. That, I believe, is something FEU would have to prepare for come Game 2.

Key match-up:

Khyte – Kim Dy vs Bernadeth Pons. The team aces scored 10 and nine points, respectively, and that’s quite far from average. Both committed costly errors too. How will they bounce back? How will they lead their respective teams? It all starts with their leadership. They are contagious.

Karl – The matchup I’m excited to see this Game 2 would have to be the Cheng-Pons showdown. Both players had a subpar performance in the first meeting with Cheng sitting out almost half of the match and Pons getting neutralized on offense and committing crucial errors in the match. Sure enough, we’ll be seeing both players make up for last game’s outing in Game 2. Although Pons is ahead from Cheng in terms of scoring and attacking, it’s safe to say that they’re equal in terms of how they provide all-around skills and reliability inside the court. I expect Cheng and Pons to go on scoring rampages of their own as the stakes are getting higher.

Genrev – Despite having mediocre performances in Game 1, I still have Desiree Cheng and Bernadeth Pons as my matchup for Game 2. I expect both girls to bounce back and have big games on Wednesday especially Pons, who is graduating from FEU. I expect her to lead the Lady Tamaraws the way she has been leading them the past games and come up big with a mentality of Game 2 not becoming her last.

How to finish off FEU in Game 2:

Khyte – START STRONG. They can’t give the early Lady Tams momentum. They did an amazing job on limiting the output of Pons and Basas. The FEU scoring duo will bounce back for sure, so they should be prepared. Both teams are very good at serving and receiving so they’re going to cancel each other out in those departments. The edge that DLSU has is their bench. We all saw May Luna, CJ Saga, Norielle Ipac, and Arianne Layug contribute. They were all ready to shine on the big stage. Coach Ramil’s team has to work together. Game 1 is a perfect example of a team victory. And oh, they need the Cheng’s A-game back to add more threat from the service line.

Karl – For how many years, FEU has been a dark horse in the UAAP Women’s Volleyball scene. The Lady Tams just keep on surprising the crowd especially when they’re up against the Lady Spikers. And with the Morayta-based squad dropping in a sweep in Game 1, one thing is for sure — Game 2 will see an unpredictable Lady Tamaraw squad. That has been their gameplay when faced with crowd favorites and even champion teams in the UAAP which makes FEU a very formidable opponent.

In Game 1 we saw the Lady Spikers’ consistency and off-the-bench wonder May Luna that allowed La Salle to win. In Game 2, I’m pretty sure FEU will be dabbling with their rotations and plays which La Salle has to be ready for. DLSU is the top serving team whereas FEU comes second. I would say that both teams are equal in both departments but the Lady Spikers will have to up their serving game, even more, to be able to grasp the crucial momentums in the match. Although La Salle has a wide array of back row defensive players with Macandili at the helm, FEU is not to be underestimated as they are also good in passing. This is where the service game will play for both teams. In terms of attacking, I believe FEU has the edge over La Salle by a small margin and this is where championship composure comes in. The Lady Spikers were able to minimize their errors compared to FEU in Game 1 which was very vital in the win. Of course, La Salle can’t control their opponent’s errors but what they could do is to break FEU’s attack patterns by serving hard and attacking strategically. If you would notice, the RDJ system isn’t so much reliant on the one-shot-one-kill type of plays. Their playmaking is, in a sense, deteriorating the opponent’s defense by hitting attacks straight to players not necessarily good in passing. Yes, they may not be able to get kills all the time but they could force an opponent to commit errors. In-court stamina is what the Taft-based squad heavily relies on. In terms of bench players, I believe FEU has the better edge over DLSU which is what the Lady Spikers will have to keep an eye on as well. Luna might have shocked the FEU squad in the last game but I’m pretty sure they’ll be able to check her plays and prepare for her on Wednesday. The Lady Spikers, no matter who plays on the other side of the court, must be ready at all times.

Genrev – FEU for sure is not just about to give up in Game 2. Expect them to make adjustments and be hungrier and more aggressive. For the Lady Spikers, respect the Lady Tamaraws. It is more of preparing them mentally. The Lady Spikers would not want to enter the Big Dome and be complacent about being a win away from the championship. There is no relaxing at any point in the game.

Prediction:

Khyte –  La Salle wins it in five sets. Three-peat. FEU comes out with their adjustments, but the Lady Spikers can counter. Two words: championship experience.

Karl – Coming into the first Finals meetup, it was anyone’s game. I honestly thought it would reach five sets similar to both team’s elimination faceoffs. However, with La Salle’s straight-set sweep in Game 1, I’m pretty confident that the Lady Spikers will be going home as champions on Wednesday. Yes, FEU will be coming back with a vengeance and they’ll surely try to fight to give graduating Bernadeth Pons a fitting UAAP career but I believe the Lady Spikers are fighting for much bigger stakes at this point of the tournament. The Lady Spikers must start strong and finish the strongest in the match to finish another three-peat feat for Coach RDJ. Possibly, the match could be done in four sets with the Lady Spikers getting the first two sets, FEU taking the third set and DLSU finally taking the fourth set. But then again, “bilog ang bola,” and I’m sure both teams will be giving us great volleyball one for the books!

Genrev – Predictions can be very hard to make especially if you are facing a very unpredictable FEU squad. Nonetheless, just like in Game 1, I expect Game 2 to be a very tight match. I do not expect a three-setter, but if the Lady Spikers can reestablish themselves very early and keep it up throughout the game, I am pretty sure that they can finish the series in Game 2.

Note**

The DLSU Sports writers’ opinions do not reflect those of the whole De La Salle University community. So, do you agree with each of them? Comment what you think!

Lady Spikers fend off Lady Tams in five-set thriller

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers doubled their victory over the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws in another nerve-wracking five-set collision, 25-17, 21-25, 16-25, 25-20, 15-5, in the second round of the UAAP Season 80 Women’s Volleyball Tournament at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan, Sunday.

The Lady Spikers improved to an 8-2 record as they tighten their grip on first place.

Reigning Most Valuable Player MaJoy Baron paced La Salle with 18 points in 10 attacks, five service aces and three blocks. Kim Dy also had 18 markers, while Desiree Cheng tallied 10 for the Green side who committed eight more service errors against FEU.

La Salle shocked the Morayta-based squad with a 17-4 blitz in the first set. The Lady Tams got their act together and inched themselves to within four after a barrage of points, 20-16. DLSU retaliated quickly with a 5-1 run to take the first.

The second frame turned into a chess match as both teams were knotted at 9-all in the early moments. The Taft crew played catch-up from then on with Bernadeth Pons and Toni Basas leading the charge for FEU, who led by as much as four heading into the latter part of the set. Cheng broke down the wall of the Lady Tams’ defense to cut their deficit to one, 20-21. However, a pile of errors from the Lady Spikers doomed their bid of a comeback as Pons and Co. tied the match at 1 set apiece.

With momentum on the Lady Tamaraws’ side, La Salle had their backs against the wall. DLSU continued to string errors as they trailed, 8-15, after May Luna got denied. FEU smelled blood from prey, building a 10-point cushion against the Lady Spikers on their way to a 2-1 advantage.

All eyes were on the Lady Spikers heading into the fourth canto. It started out to be tight as La Salle and FEU were tied at 10-all. Norielle Ipac gave quality minutes for Coach Ramil De Jesus, who opted to rest Baron. Later on in the set, Baron and Dy created enough breathing room for DLSU and eventually forced a fifth and deciding set.

The Lady Spikers never took their feet off the gas pedal as an offspeed hit from Cheng capped off a 5-0 start for DLSU. FEU countered with a 3 to nothing blast, but the Green and White did not look back with Dy sealing the win for La Salle.

Pons led the scoring for the Lady Tams with 16 points. Basas added 12 points, while Czarina Carandang and Celine Domingo added 11 apiece.

The next game for the Lady Spikers is on March 24, Saturday, 4 pm, still at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

Lady Spikers outlast Lady Tamaraws in five sets to stay perfect

The De La Salle University Lady Spikers overcame a scare from the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws, 25-22, 25-17, 24-26, 23-25, 15-17, in a nerve-wracking collision in the first round of UAAP Season 80 Women’s Volleyball Tournament at the FilOil Flying V Arena, earlier today.

This is the second five-set match for DLSU in three outings and the Lady Spikers have won them both; improving to an unblemished 3-0 record.

Dawn Macandili was hailed as the Best Player of the Game with 34 excellent digs and 13 excellent receptions. Kim Kianna Dy posted 18 points, 15 coming from attacks and two from blocks. Last year’s MVP MaJoy Baron added 16 markers, while Aduke Ogunsanya and Desiree Cheng chipped in 11 and 10 points, respectively. Michelle Cobb had 49 excellent sets.

With a 5-0 blast to open the game, La Salle continued to pound on FEU and built a 10-point lead as they did not look back to clinch the first set.

Coach George Pascua’s crew showed more fight in the second set, but DLSU showed composure down the stretch to deny an FEU comeback. The Morayta-based squad committed a combined 25 unforced errors in the first two sets wherein DLSU took advantage.

La Salle had an 8-3 lead in the third canto as they looked to finish the match in three sets. The Lady Tamaraws, however, had other ideas in mind. FEU stayed close to the Taft spikers as much as they can until the latter made enough breathing room. Baron put her team into match point, 24-22, but back-to-back errors from Dy and two straight points from Bernadeth Pons and Cayuna extended the game.

FEU started out hot in the fourth frame as they built a five-point edge after a 1-2 play from Gel Cayuna. DLSU kept within shouting distance, trimming down the lead until an ace from Cheng tied the set at 22-apiece. The Green side, though, shot themselves in the foot with crucial errors at the end of the set. Heather Guino-o capped the set with an ace.

Both teams kept it close in the early moments of the fifth set. Coach Ramil De Jesus decided to send in Arriane Layug for Cobb to add some height on the front line and it paid dividends as La Salle blasted into a 9-5 lead. FEU tried to get back into the game, but the deficit was just too much to overcome and their consecutive errors were costly with Cheng eventually sealing the victory for the Lady Spikers.

Pons led the scoring for the Lady Tams with 21 points. Celine Domingo tallied 12 points including five blocks for the FEU side who slid down to a 1-2 card.

 

 

Listless Lady Archers punished by ruthless FEU

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La Salle 43

FEU 48

Blue Eagle Gym – “We competed for less than a quarter”, was Coach Tyrone Bautista’s summary. Nobody disagreed, even if the stats flattered to deceive. On paper, the Lady Archers had outrebounded their opponents, attempted more shots, more than doubled their steals, and committed fewer turnovers. Yet once FEU had gotten a grip on the game, they never looked like losing it.

La Salle’s surrender began in the second quarter when, after holding a narrow 10-8 lead from the first ten minutes, their interior defence could not contain the heft of Claire Castro and the aggressiveness of Jacqueline Tanaman. The Lady Archers were half a step slower to reach their positions and as a result played risky defence, often finding themselves off-balance and having to reach in fruitlessly. FEU’s passes found their way inside to Castro and Angelica Gabriel who racked up offensive rebounds and putbacks almost at will. And on the outside, Angel Arellado shot 60%, keeping the defence honest.

Without an inside game to build on, La Salle had to walk up its offence; by the half, they had a grand total of one fastbreak attempt, and a second-quarter output of four points. This dry spell came courtesy of a sequence of hurried shots as FEU’s longer and more committed defenders pushed Cass Santos further from her preferred spot on the elbow and limited Alyanna Ong and Jamie Roxas’ influence inside. Nicky Garcia stepped into the breach, playing the pseudo-big and grabbing seven rebounds in the first half alone but was forced into hoisting last-second three-point shots as FEU’s guards ran full interference on the shot clock.

Scoring picked up after the break as the Lady Archers pressed, but FEU forced its own share of turnovers, ending up with three times more fastbreak attempts. Camille Claro tried to push the tempo for La Salle but her four assists were scant consolation for a miserable shooting day. Jonah Melendres, who nailed five three-point shots against UP in the last game, could not find a clean look against FEU’s scrambling perimeter defence.

And yet the defending champions hung on. A high-arcing triple by Garcia cut FEU’s lead to three at the two-minute mark, but following a baseline scramble with 52 seconds to go and a look at the video, the officials called an out-of-bounds violation against Piatos. The sequence of photos above, however, shows the ball clearly coming off Lady Tamaraw Jacqueline Tanaman’s left thigh. The miscall would prove decisive as FEU’s Arellado would hit a clutch triple of her own and despite Piatos’ matching reply after a timeout, the Lady Archers would be forced to foul to stop the time. And in a bizarre re-enactment of the final play from the recent Seniors matchup, FEU would grab the rebound off a missed La Salle box-out – the story of the game in a single play.

Player of the game: Nicky Garcia: 11 points, 14 rebounds, four of four free throws, four steals, all fuelled by a runny nose. This time last year, the Adamson bench was taunting her as she shot free throws: “Box out, di naman shooter yan!” Of all the Lady Archers, she’s been under the most pressure to get the balance right this season, as her energy and aggression are needed on defence even as spitfire Piatos needs a wingman. She doesn’t always get it right, but five of her kind will beat NU.