MANILA – (UPDATED) The Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws survived the threat from the University of the East (UE) Lady Warriors in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament.
The Lady Tamaraws kept UE winless in the league with a thrilling 25-19, 18-25, 25-12, 22-25, 15-5 win at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City Wednesday.
FEU hiked its record to 3-3, while the Lady Warriors remained at the bottom of the standings with 0-6.
Chenie Tagaod and Jov Fernandez pulled their acts together, taking the heavy load of scoring for the Lady Tamaraws. Tagaod tallied a career-high 23 points on 18 attacks, three blocks, and two aces.
Fernandez, on the other hand, had 17 spikes and five blocks to go along with 13 digs.
“Sobrang happy na first round pa lang, I’ll be honest, na-exceed 'yung expectation. Since nandito na kami, 'di kami pwede huminto. Pwede namin i-achieve higher expectations na achievable naman dapat para tuloy-tuloy 'yung team, tuloy-tuloy 'yung journey namin ngayong Season 85,” head coach Tina Salak admitted after the game.
After losing the chance to close the game in Set 4, FEU opened the deciding set with a 6-1 blitz – thanks to Tagaod and Fernandez’s offensive onslaught.
The Lady Tamaraws’ separation went as far as 10-3 after UE committed a costly error. The Lady Warriors had some life in the next sequences as FEU threw away bonus points, 5-10.
But that was the last UE scored in the final set as Gerzel Petallo sparked a 5-0 closeout through an off-the-block hit and a couple of aces.
KC Cepada paced the Lady Warriors with 18 points, while Van Bangayan and Ja Lana added 17 and 14 points, respectively.
With their backs against the wall, the Lady Warriors showed grit in the fourth frame as they kept FEU within striking distance.
They eventually built a separation after Bangayan scored off the blockers’ hands followed by a pipe attack of Lana, 18-16.
Cepada’s attack made it a four-point game 22-18 which the Lady Tams attempted to overhaul. Down 21-23, FEU allowed Cepada to drill another attack before Bangayan officially extended the game into five sets, 25-22.