UAAP volleyball: Pons outduels Rondina as FEU piles on UST woes

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 14 2018 06:10 PM

Bernadeth Pons celebrates after FEU scored against UST. Josh Albelda, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – Far Eastern University (FEU) extended the misery of rivals University of Santo Tomas (UST) on Wednesday, as the Lady Tamaraws claimed a 25-21, 25-21, 25-23 victory over the Golden Tigresses in the UAAP Season 80 women's volleyball tournament.

It was a bounce-back performance for the Lady Tamaraws, who were coming off a three-set loss to Ateneo de Manila University last weekend.

With Wednesday's results, FEU hiked its record to 6-3 to rise to third place in the league standings. The Tigresses, meanwhile, lost for the fifth game in a row and dropped to 2-7. UST, one of the most storied teams in the UAAP, is currently at No. 8 in the standings.

"Malaking bagay itong panalo namin sa UST," said FEU head coach George Pascua after the game. "Nanalo kami dahil sa mga service namin. Hopefully, maging effective siya ulit sa mga upcoming games."

The match saw FEU skipper Bernadeth Pons outplay her friendly rival, Sisi Rondina, to lead the Lady Tamaraws to victory. Pons finished with 15 points, 18 digs, and eight excellent receptions for another superb all-around game.

Meanwhile, Rondina was limited to 11 points as UST struggled to give her touches due to their faulty reception. The Tigresses gave up a whopping 19 service aces in just three sets.

Pons came up with clutch hits in each of the first two sets, as she fired the winners in both frames to fend off UST's rally.

Behind Rondina, the Tigresses threatened to steal the third frame and send the match to an extension. The high-flying spiker scored four of UST's six points in a 6-1 run, including a sharp crosscourt attack that tied the third set at 23.

But Pons did her one better, powering a kill off the UST blockers to bring the Lady Tamaraws to match point. Fittingly, it was an ace that finished off the Tigresses as Rica Rivera mishandled Czarina Carandang's serve.

"Sobrang laki ng maitutulong ng pagkapanalo namin ngayon, kasi galing kami sa pagkatalo," said FEU veteran Heather Guino-o, who had four of her team's 19 aces.

"Mataas ang morale ng team," added Pons. "Medyo down kami after Ateneo kasi ang pangit ng ginawa namin. Sabi namin, kailangan natin maipanalo ang game na ito, para makuha natin ang kumpyansa natin sa mga susunod na laro."

FEU only had a slim lead in attacks, 31-28, and UST had more blocks, 7-3. But the Lady Tamaraws' bombs from the service line were too much for the Tigresses. As a team, UST only had 12 excellent receptions out of 65 tries.

Rondina was the only UST player in double digits. Dimdim Pacres had eight points, and Milena Alessandrini had six points in her return as a scorer. 

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