Lady Tamaraws set rubber match with Lady Eagles
Kristina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - May 5, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Far Eastern U looked out of sorts in the fourth set but recovered its bearing in the decider, trouncing top seed Ateneo, 10-25, 25-23, 25-22, 12-25, 15-8, to keep its bid for a finals seat alive in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The No. 4 Lady Tamaraws looked poised after taking a 2-1 set advantage but suddenly fumbled with their reception in the fourth, allowing the Lady Eagles to land seven aces and force the fifth set.

But FEU, last year’s runner-up, toughened up in the decider, reeling off an 8-1 tear to close the match and force the winner-take-all on Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

“I am overwhelmed but the battle is not yet done. It’s not yet time to celebrate. We still have a lot of things to fix come Game 2,” said FEU coach George Pascua.

The Lady Eagles, armed with a twice-to-beat advantage, dominated the fourth and were only a set away from clinching the first finals seat but erred seven times in the fifth, handing the Lady Tamaraws the victory.

A four-touch call on Bea de Leon rewarded FEU with the match point. Then Jules Samonte bungled her attack for the winning point.

Heather Guino-o led the Lady Tamaraws’ charge with eight attacks, five aces and four blocks for 17 points. Jeanette Villareal hammered 10 points while Jerrilli Malabanan smashed a pair of crucial hits at endgame and totaled eight points.

Far Eastern U imposed its presence at the net to wallop sloppy Ateneo, 21-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-22, and book the first finals seat in the in the men’s side.

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