Army duo provides firepower as FEU Lady Tamaraws end 11-year wait for maiden V-League title
The FEU Lady Tamaraws, whose previous best finish was third in Season 6, finally takes the top gold. Dante Peralta

FAR Eastern University is a V-League champion at last, completing a finals sweep of National University on Sunday at The Arena in San Juan to claim its first V-League title in 11 seasons.

With guest players Rachel Ann Daquis and Jovelyn Gonzaga leading the way and Bernadette Pons again coming up with a fine performance, the Lady Tamaraws prevented the Lady Bulldogs from mounting a comeback and sealed the title with a 25-21, 25-23, 25-18 win.

Finals MVP Daquis poured in 15 points for the Lady Tamaraws, Pons had 13 and Gonzaga had 11 for FEU, which did not drop a set in the finals after also coming up with a straight sets win in the series opener last week.

The title victory capped a fine playoff run for FEU, which had shaky performances in the preliminaries before tapping Army and national team mainstays Gonzaga and Daquis for the playoffs.

The Morayta-based Lady Tamaraws started the tournament with a 2-3 in the elimination round and finished the tournament with a four-game winning streak, including two over Adamson in the semifinals.

Gonzaga, at 21 a veteran of many teams and tournaments, was emotional after the win, pleased to be able to lend a hand to a team that struggled without a veteran to lead them.

“Galing sa baba ang FEU, tapos natulungan namin silang umangat nanalo pa kami dito sa championship, first time ng mga bata mag champion,” said Gonzaga, a former open conference finals MVP.

The win also made FEU’s Shaq de los Santos the winningest V-League coach with four titles.

His first three championships were with University of Santo Tomas in Season 6 First and Second Conference in 2009 and his last in Season 7 First Conference.

“Sa wakas nagka-medal ulit ako,” said De los Santos.

“Sobrang saya kasi unang-una history, kasi, first time nag-champion ang FEU, tapos nag-champion ulit ako bilang coach sa V-League. Sobrang happy,” he added.

Power interruption halted the game twice in the third set, but FEU wasn't bothered at all and pulled away from a close 14-13 contest with a 6-0 run behind Daquis and Pons to put up a 20-13 lead.

NU answered with a 3-1 spurt that made it 16-21 but that was the closest it could get.

Dindin Santiago, the season MVP, finished with 12 points for the Lady Bulldogs.

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