FAR Eastern University secured the third spot in the semifinals after surviving a tough challenge from also-ran Adamson, 25-23, 25-22, 20-25, 28-26, on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
Bernadeth Pons scored 19 points as FEU improved its win-loss record to 9-5. Ateneo (11-2) and La Salle earlier secured the top two spots.
Sophomore Jerrili Malabanan added 11, while Toni Basas and skipper Mary Palma added 10 points apiece for the Lady Tamaraws.
Adamson suffered its 10th loss in 13 outings.
It was a big relief for coach Shaq de los Santos as FEU ended the elimination round with four straight wins.
“At least na-reach na namin ’yung No. 3 and thank you kay God kasi sobrang hindi niya kami pinabayaan lalo na itong last game ng elimination, wala akong masabi,” said De los Santos.
“Nagulat kami kasi galing kami sa tatlong panalo tapos biglang ganoon ang laro namin,” he added.
“Actually ang sinasabi ko na nga, ‘wag niyong isipin ang last game natin against Adamson kasi talagang medyo maa-ano tayo doon, ang isipin niyo kung paano natin kinuha ang tatlong sunod na panalo natin.”
“Siguro, para sa akin, may part lang pero hindi naman lahat ganoon. Nataon lang talaga na pangit ang laro namin kanina,” he continued.
FEU collapsed in the third set as Adamson gained momentum to extend the match and even looked set to force a decider, 24-21.
But a net touch from Erika Alkuino and back-to-back points from Pons and Palma tied the contest, 24-24. Basas and Fenela Emnas exchanged service errors, 25-25, before Pons and Malabanan sealed the victory for FEU.
Rookie Bernadette Flora matched Adamson top hitter Jessica Galanza’s output of 13 points, while Mylene Paat added 11.