Manila, Philippines - Adamson’s Paulina Soriano scored nine crucial points on attacks in the second set as she and new teammate Sheila Mae Pineda ruled the third leg of the 2012 Petron Ladies’ Beach Volleyball Tournament at the sand-courts of the University of the East-Caloocan campus.
Soriano’s timely plays allowed her team to pull off a 21-14, 21-11 upset of UE rivals Francislyn Cais and Jessica Paron to win their first-ever Petron volley circuit crown in the tournament also backed by Speedo and Mikasa.
“Kumpiyansa na kami pagkatapos namin makuha ang first set. Mas focused kami sa receives and serves,” said Soriano, a 19-year-old management junior at Adamson U.
It was also the pair’s strongest performance yet in a tournament after settling for third spot in UAAP last year.
The 5’8” Soriano took charge in the second set, with her powerful smashes to the backline giving the Lady Falcons the lead on three straight points, 5-3.
Pineda’s service winner and Soriano’s drop shot in the ensuing plays allowed the Lady Falcons to move out of range, 13-6.
The two almost never made it to the semifinals after they found themselves in a tiebreak for the last semis berth in Group A with AMA Computer College standouts Lorie Lyn Longalong and Sheila Mae Fajardo, and UE-2’s Krysel Cueva and Marni Pedrosa. All three had the same 3-2 records.
But a better tiebreak put Soriano and Pineda in the semifinal against La Salle-Dasmariñas’ Monique Tiangco and Maribeth Lara, whom they turned back, 23-21, 24-22, to set up a championship showdown with Cais and Paron.
With the Lady Falcons trailing 21-22 in the final set, Pineda scored the last two points with her power smash to the net and a placement shot that sailed past Tiangco as she went for a defensive block on the right side.
The UE tandem Paron and Cais fought their way into the championship round after clipping San Sebastian College’s Gretchel Soltones and Czarina Berbano, 21-19, 12-21, 15-8.
The Adamson duo and the UE pair clinched slots to the Petron Battle of the Champions in October.