MANILA, Philippines - University of Santo Tomas swept reigning NCAA champion Perpetual Help, 25-15, 25-17, 25-17, to snatch the top spot in Group B even as Davao foiled San Sebastian College, 25-18, 25-22, 25-23, to give Far Eastern U a free ride to the quarterfinal round of the Shakey’s V-League Season 11 First Conference elims at The Arena in San Juan yesterday.
Ace rookie Ennajie Laure and Pam Lastimosa combined for 21 hits as UST pummeled the hapless Perpetual side in a quick 70-minute demolition to force a three-way for first with defending champion National U and newcomer Davao at 4-1.
But the Tigresses emerged with the highest tiebreak score with the Lady Bulldogs settling for second and the Agilas taking the third spot in their group which includes fourth placer the FEU Lady Tams.
UST and Davao will thus join the other Nos. 1 and 3 teams from Group A in the quarters – Ateneo and Adamson while the other Last 8 group is made up of Arellano and St. Benilde from Group A and NU and FEU.
They will again slug it out in a single round quarters phase with the top two teams from each group advancing to the crossover semis. However, games played by the teams in the same groups in the elims will no longer be held but the results will be carried over.
Davao’s victory over SCC also capped the Agilas’ impressive stint in the single round elims while giving FEU a free lift to the quarterfinal round of the season-opening conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s.
The Lady Tams, who finished with a 2-3 card, actually braced themselves for a possible playoff for the last quarters seat with the Lady Stags, who, however, failed to neutralize the Agilas’ power in the last two sets and join the Perpetual Help Lady Altas on the sidelines with a 1-4 slate.
May Agton and skipper Venus Flores each fired 15 hits as the Agilas overpowered the Lady Stags, 45-36, to regain their winning ways after dropping a four-setter to the Tigresses last Sunday.
Jocemer Tapic backed them up with 10 points while Mae Antipuesto, Joy Oliveros and Reynelen Raterta combined for 16 hits for the Mindanao-based squad, which made it to the quarters of the league, backed by Mikasa, Accel and Lion Tiger Mosquito Coil, right on its first try.
Gretchel Soltones, whose injury in the early going of the elims stymied SSC’s bid, topscored with 10 hits but the rest struggled with Czarina Bernano finishing with nine points and guest players Ryzabelle Devanadera and Maru Banaticla adding six and five points, respectively.