Photo By: Flavius Dulce
The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers dominated the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws in straight sets, 25-15, 25-19, 26-24, yesterday, March 16, at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
After missing the game against UE, Desiree Cheng once again remained on the bench as the first set got underway. Ernestine Tiamzon got the nod to start once more and she did not disappoint. The fourth year spiker made her presence felt early, opening up the scoreboard with a solid hit. Her teammates soon followed suit as back-to-back hits from Jolina dela Cruz and Aduke Ogunsanya gave La Salle an early 3-0 advantage. The Lady Spikers capitalized on their momentum and pounced on the Lady Tamaraws’ defense, entering the first technical timeout with an 8-1 lead. From that point on, La Salle continued to look unstoppable as FEU struggled to pull close. The defending champions got their offense going throughout the set, putting a swift end to the Lady Tamaraws in the first set, 25-15.
The early part of the second set was closely contended as FEU began to show signs of life after a poor showing in the opening frame. The set was in a deadlock at 2-apiece before La Salle got rolling again and pulled away from FEU. A hit from Dela Cruz followed by a miscue on the part of the Lady Tamaraws put DLSU on top, 4-2. With the window of opportunity opening for La Salle, the Taft-based squad went on a scoring tear building a four-point lead, 8-4, entering the first technical timeout. After a strong showing in the early part of the set, things went downhill for the Lady Tamaraws. FEU looked dejected in the face of their tormentors from last season.
The team scrambled to get their act together as La Salle continued to gain momentum taking a six-point lead, 16-10, into the second technical timeout. FEU tried a last ditch effort, going on a 5-2 run to pull within four, 15-19. The Lady Spikers tried to pull away behind an offensive barrage from May Luna and Des Clemente but FEU remained within striking distance. The Lady Tamaraws continued to stick close, 22-18, prompting head coach Ramil de Jesus to pull an unexpected move, slotting Cheng in for the first time in the match. With their captain on the floor, the Lady Spikers regained their footing. An attack from Clemente followed by an error on the side of FEU put La Salle at set point, 24-18. The set had a fitting end as Cheng delivered the finishing blow to put La Salle up, two sets to none.
After dominating FEU in the previous sets, the Lady Spikers showed no signs of slowing down. La Salle opened the third frame with another early 8-1 advantage heading into the first technical timeout. The Lady Tamaraws showed resiliency, cutting the deficit by as much as four, 10-14, before DLSU called to regroup. The Lady Spikers responded well off the timeout pulling ahead, 17-11. La Salle appeared to be on their way to an easy straight-set victory but the Lady Tamaraws had other plans.
FEU blasted La Salle to cut their lead to two, 17-15. The Lady Spikers tried to ice the opposing team’s momentum with a timeout but the Lady Tamaraws remained relentless. FEU tied the game at 17 off a hit from rookie, Lycha Ebon. With the game up for grabs, the latter part of the set was heavily contested. Both teams scored back-and-forth. The Lady Tamaraws got the edge over the the Lady Spikers off a hit from Ebon putting them at set point, 24-23. Down one and in danger of losing the set, Tiamzon came through in the clutch and tied the game at 24. With the set on the line, Cheng was supposed to check in but the Lady Tamaraws crumbled under the pressure committing back-to-back errors as La Salle won the match.
Dela Cruz and Clemente were pivotal in their roles powering La Salle’s offense combining for 17 points. Ernestine Tiamzon continued her stellar play winning Player of the Game honors with 13 points on nine attacks, 1 block and three aces.
The win by the Lady Spikers puts them at second place with a record of (5-2), just behind their rivals, the Lady Eagles (6-1).