FEU’s Kyle Negrito (left) and Czarina Carandang save the ball during their semifinal match against Adamson at the FilOil Arena in San Juan yesterday. KJ ROSALES

Lady Bulldogs drop Chiefs, enter final
(The Philippine Star) - October 7, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — National U summoned its entire strength in the fifth and final set to fight off Arellano University for a hard-earned 25-17, 26-28, 17-25, 25-13, 20-18 victory to gain the first finals berth in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan last night.

Jaja Santiago provided the rallying point as the Lady Bulldogs matched the Arellano Lady Chiefs power for power, point by point coming back from 9-13 down in the fifth set before hacking out the 20-18 decider to seal the second win in their best-of-three series.

The Lady Bulldogs will take a breather while waiting for the outcome of the other semifinal series between Far Eastern U and Adamson tomorrow.

Jaja Santiago exploded with six hits late in the match,  saving three match points before sealing the win on Jovielyn Prado’s back-to-back attack error.

In the first game, the FEU Lady Tamaraws pounced on the  Adamson Lady Falcons’  two costly miscues in the stretch to wrest control then leaned on Toni Rose Basas’ strong finish to pound out a 21-25, 27-25, 25-20, 23-25, 15-11 victory and force a sudden death for the second final berth.

 Basas atoned for an earlier wild hit with two drop balls that finished off the Lady Falcons and made up for their 21-25, 25-22, 20-25, 25-14, 15-7 setback in the opener of their best-of-three semifinal series last Wednesday.

The Lady Tams blew a 2-1 set lead and a 21-19 advantage in the fourth as the Lady Falcons racked up six of the last six points to force a decider, a back-and-forth match that has marked the two teams’ faceoffs in the season-ending conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.

But after Adamson scored on back-to-back hits to force a 9-all count in the fifth, the Lady Falcons succumbed with a net violation and a poor first ball, which the Lady Tams used as a springboard to clinch the win and deal the San Marcelino-based squad its first loss in the tournament backed by Mikasa and Asics.

A Basas hit and Czarina Carandang’s block against Christine Soyud gave FEU a huge 13-9 lead. And after Basas yielded a point on an attack error, the veteran FEU hitter knocked down two drop shots against a Soyud hit to wrap up the tough victory.

The Lady Tams actually scored on a series of drop balls throughout the match as the Lady Falcons struggled with their coverage. Adamson’s charge also suffered a snag after libero Jellie Tempiatura tweaked her ankle early in the fifth set and had to be carried by AdU coach Airess Padda.

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