UAAP: FEU fends off stubborn Adamson for third straight win

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 10 2019 04:21 PM | Updated as of Mar 10 2019 04:55 PM

UAAP: FEU fends off stubborn Adamson for third straight win 1
The FEU Lady Tamaraws racked up their third straight win in the UAAP Season 81 tournament. Arvin Lim, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) Far Eastern University dug deep, and weathered a tough challenge from Adamson University to claim its third straight victory in the UAAP Season 81 women's volleyball tournament on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

The Lady Tamaraws twice squandered a one-set deficit, but recovered their form in the fifth set for a 25-18, 17-25, 25-14, 22-25, 15-8 triumph.

FEU improved to 4-2 with the result, tying idle De La Salle University and University of Santo Tomas for a share of third place.

Veteran Heather Guino-o had a season-high 20 points along with 13 digs and 10 receptions, while rookie Lycha Ebon was superb once more with 17 points. Cel Domingo contributed 14 points, four of which came on kill blocks. 

"Sabi ko sa mga players ko, balik lang tayo," said FEU head coach George Pascua. "Mahirap naman na magre-relax ng ganun-ganun lang. Yung objective namin is ganoon pa rin, and dapat 'di kami mawawala sa goal namin."

The Lady Tams led 1-0 and again at 2-1, but the Lady Falcons showed great resolve in battling back from deficits each time. The fourth set, in particular, was a showcase of Adamson's resiliency as they surged to a 20-15 lead, then fended off FEU's rallies in the end game.

Adamson claimed a 23-19 advantage off an attack error by FEU rookie Ebon, but she made up for it with a kill, before a Celine Domingo block and an Eli Soyud net touch made it a one-point game, 23-22.

But Soyud also redeemed herself, checking the ball off the FEU blockers before Ebon committed another miscue on the attack to give Adamson the win, and send the match to a deciding frame.

FEU nursed a slim 4-3 lead before Ebon's smart push sparked a crucial 4-0 run -- helped along by back-to-back errors by the Lady Falcons. They took an 8-6 lead off a net touch by Adamson's Joy Dacoron.

Dacoron earned a measure of redemption by scoring three straight points to make it a 2-point game, but it turned out to be the last time that Adamson would threaten. A smart offspeed shot by Guino-o gave the Lady Falcons some breathing room, and FEU took 7 of the last 9 points to seize the victory.

A block by Domingo on Soyud served as the match winner.

"Ang sinasabi ni coach, once na nag-ingay ang crowd, nagpapadala kami agad," noted Guino-o. "Hindi namin pwede kalabanin ang sarili namin, ang kalaban, at ang crowd. Unahin muna namin ang sarili namin."

The Lady Tamaraws uncorked a whopping 60 kills in the game, to Adamson's 43. But FEU also committed 35 unforced errors to give the Lady Falcons plenty of chances to snatch an upset win. 

Soyud scored 14 points, Dacoron finished with 13, and Bern Flora added 11 markers for the Lady Falcons. Adamson dropped to 1-4 with the loss.

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