Majoy Baron and Kim Dy each had 18 points in the win, with the former also providing three blocks and five service aces. Meanwhile, FEU’s Bernadeth Pons had 16 points on 13 attacks and two blocks in the losing effort. The FEU-La Salle match-up this season has been a nail-biting experience for fans as both teams replicated their first round match with another five-setter in their second meeting.
La Salle showed why it was the defending champion as it overwhelmed the Lady Tamaraws early in the game. With the combination of Dy and Baron, the Green-and-White went on a 6-0 run which gave them a six point difference at the start of the set, 7-1. However, with Lady Tamaraw Chinchin Basas’ attack and the consecutive errors from DLSU, FEU was only able to score three points before the Lasallians went on another 10-0 run, 17-4. The team from Taft prevented the Lady Tamaraws from scoring throughout the first technical timeout towards the second.
Pons was able to keep the her team afloat as she scored three consecutive attacks to put a stop to the long run of the defending champions. Nonetheless, even with the help of Czar Carandang, FEU was not able to get a lead over La Salle as Aduke Ogunsanya and Dy relentlessly attacked and provided service aces to give the team its first set, 25-17.
In the second set, however, the Lady Spikers and Lady Tamaraws traded points early on seeing as both teams tied nine times in the whole set. Basas and Kyle Negrito turned things around through the offensive end as they continued to take advantage of the miscommunication coming from the Green-and-White. Errors were one of the significant factors that doomed La Salle in the third set, in which FEU also brought about four blocks compared to only one from DLSU.
The Lady Tamaraws continued to put distance between the two teams at the latter half of the set, until Tin Tiamzon made a quick crosscourt attack that brought about a short run to trim the deficit to just one point. Despite the three service aces from Baron and Michelle Cobb, the Lady Spikers were not able to get the lead back after a block from Celine Domingo and a crucial error by Baron, gave FEU the second set.
Composed down the stretch
The Lady Tamaraws dominated the offensive end in the third set, as their quick one-two plays were too much for the Lady Spikers who seemed to have trouble finding their rhythm both offensively and defensively. It was an even start for both teams during the start of the set until a four-touch violation and a trick shot from Negrito led to the first technical timeout. The team from Morayta would then spark a five-to-nothing run to keep its distance from the defending champions. Carandang was unstoppable in the set as she brought FEU close to set point but it was Pons who went for the kill to take the lead, 16-25. La Salle doubled its service errors to six which killed momentum for the Green-and-White.
However, despite the rusty third set, La Salle retained composure to answer back in the fourth frame and dominate in the deciding set. The Lasallians pulled away from the Tamaraws midway through the fourth set as errors from Basas and Domingo along with a block from Dy provided a three-point cushion for DLSU. The team from Taft continued to attack FEU’s floor defense while errors from the Tamaraws also dealt damage which brought the game back to square one, even at two sets apiece.
Unfortunately, FEU faltered in the final chapter as La Salle raced to an early 5-1 lead. It was smooth sailing for the Lasallians from this point as the team’s collective effort orchestrated their defense to pin FEU to only five points. Finally, an error from Negrito sealed the match in favor of DLSU, 15-5.
The Lady Spikers will look to continue their winning streak as they face the UE Lady Warriors on Saturday, March 24, at the same venue.
DLSU (3) – Baron 18, Dy 18, Cheng 10, Tiamzon 9, Ogunsanya 5, Ipac 4, Layug 1, Cobb 1, Luna 1, Saga 0, Macandilli 0
FEU (2) – Pons 16, Basas 12, Domingo 11, Carandang 11, Negrito 6, Malabanan 6, Hernandez 1, Guino-o 1, Cayuna 1, Agudo 0, Villareal 0, Duremdes 0, Atienza 0