TIGHT MATCH. Adamson's Eli Soyud pierces through the UST defensive wall of Carla Sandoval and Christine Francisco in Game 1 of their tight duel for third place. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – University of Santo Tomas pulled through in a thrilling decider, carving out a 25-20, 27-29, 13-25, 25-19, 17-15 victory over Adamson to zero in on third place honors in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan on Sunday, September 9.
UST standout Milena Alessandri hammered in 24 kills and came up with 6 kill blocks and an ace for a whopping 31-hit output.
The Filipino-Italian hitter took over from Eya Laure in the stretch as the Tigresses outsteadied the equally tough Lady Falcons to steal the opener of their best-of-three series for third place.
UST actually clinched the last three points and the hard-earned victory on Adamson’s miscues, including back-to-back net violations that enabled the Tigresses to escape with the win in a back-and-forth match between the top two teams that wound up losing to lower seeded rivals in the Final Four .
Laure starred in UST’s fightback from 7-9 down in the fifth, scoring all but one of the team’s next four points, including an ace that shoved the Tigresses to the top at 11-9.
But the Lady Falcons, who swept the elims but fell to the UP Lady Maroons in the semis, fought back with key hits from Eli Soyud and Chiara Permentina, only to bow in the end on miscues.
Alessandri scored three points to push UST ahead, 14-13, before Permentina tied it with a kill. A miscommunication between Adamson’s setter and spiker then gave UST a 15-14 edge then after the Lady Falcons forced another deuce on a kill block, the Tigresses took the next two points – and the match – on Adamson’s net violations.
UST guns for the clincher on Wednesday, September 12.
Earlier, National U rallied from a set down and foiled UST, 21-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-17, to move closer to claiming the men’s crown in the mid-season conference of the league organized by Sports Vision and backed by Mikasa and Asics.
The Bulldogs struggled with their reception early then pounced on the Tigers’ string of miscues late in the second set to draw level. The reigning UAAP champions, who placed fourth here last year, then reasserted their might in the last two frame to complete the four-set win in the opener of their best-of-three title series.
Bryan Bagunas and Madzlan Gampong combined for 30 hits with the former spiking his superb outing with 12 excellent receptions and the latter adding 4 kill blocks and an ace for NU, which also drew 9 markers from Francis Saura and eight points from rookie Angelo Almendras.
Playmaker Kim Dayandante tallied 24 excellent sets for the Bulldogs, who actually faced the specter of going 0-2 set down at 22-23 in the second frame. But the Tigers made three straight errors, enabling the Bulldogs to snare the set and gain momentum.
The Tigers, who got 17 points from Manuel Medina and a combined 27-hit output from Joshua Umandal and Jayvee Sumagaysay, committed 37 errors. – Rappler.com