MANILA, Philippines – The Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws faded late but recovered in time to outlast the Adamson University Lady Falcons in five sets to end the first round of the UAAP Season 76 women’s volleyball tournament Wednesday at the Arena in San Juan.
FEU overcame Adamson, 25-21, 25-20, 29-31, 19-25, and 15-10, to notch their fourth win of the season and seize the solo fourth spot in the league standings.
Bernadeth Pons scored a career-high 27 points in a breakout performance for the Lady Tams, who also got solid performances from Gen Casugod and Rem Palma.
The Lady Tamaraws trailed early both in Sets 1 and 2, but rallied each time thanks to Pons, who sparked FEU with several down-the-line kills and clearly frustrated the Adamson blockers.
In the first set, FEU recovered from a seven-point deficit early, 4-11, and were down 19-21 when Sam Dawson came alive, scoring thrice to help the Lady Tams end the set with six unanswered points.
In the second set, the Lady Tams went down again early, 3-9, before Pons again came through with several kills. It was Casugod who starred in the set for FEU, however, as she shut down Adamson’s Mayette Zapanta with several crushing blocks.
FEU totaled an amazing nine blocks in the second set, and Adamson committed four consecutive hitting errors late before a Casugod block sealed a 25-20 win for FEU in Set 2.
The third set was an extended affair, but it was Adamson who came away with the victory when Amanda Villanueva – who struggled in the first two sets – made key hits late. The two teams exchanged set points, but Adamson eventually took a 31-29 win after two kills by Shiela Pineda and a hitting error by Pons.
Exhaustion was evident on the Lady Tamaraws’ face in the fourth set, while the Lady Falcons seemed to have been revived by their Set 4 victory. FEU was a step slow all set, and Villanueva continued to terrorize their blockers and floor defense as Adamson forced a do-or-die fifth set.
It was nip-and-tuck in the final set, but FEU seized the lead midway through when Pineda committed a hitting error and Pons responded with a kill. Following another hitting error by Pineda, the score stood at 9-7 and the Lady Tams would never relinquish the lead.
It was another heartbreaking loss for the Lady Falcons, who had also gone toe-to-toe with the National University Lady Bulldogs last Sunday but lost in four sets.
Pineda had another strong performance, scoring a career-high 29 points and taking over for Adamson when they were in a do-or-die situation in the third set.
The Lady Falcons dropped to 3-4 this season, good for fifth place.