FEU Lady Tamaraws edge UP Lady Maroons to climb to third and earn at least a playoff for semis spot
The Lady Tamaraws rise to third spot with a match remaining in their schedule. Dante Peralta

FAR Eastern University secured at least a playoff for a place in the semifinals after it rose from a set down to beat University of the Philippines, 17-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-14, on Sunday in the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.

FEU moved to third spot with an 8-5 win-loss card behind Ateneo and La Salle, which carry identical 10-2 records and have secured the top two spots in the semifinals.

UP dropped to joint fourth with National U after suffering their second straight loss and seventh in 13 outings.

Bernadeth Pons fired 19 points and had 21 digs, skipper Mary Palma added 15 and sophomore Toni Basas chipped in 15 for the Lady Tamaraws.

FEU needs to win its final elimination-round match against Adamson to secure third spot in the semifinals.

“Hopefully makuha namin ang No. 3 spot kasi syempre hindi mo rin masabi kasi bilog ang bola,” said FEU coach Shaq de los Santos, who is looking to even things with Adamson, which won their first-round match in five sets.

“’Yung game namin sa Adamson medyo hindi kami pinalad doon sa first round but of course syempre, honestly speaking, hindi na kami papayag na maulit sa amin ’yun,” he added.

“Pero sabi ko nga hindi siya magiging ganoong kadali, sabi ko sa players mas magiging mahirap ngayon ang labanan.”

Rookie libero Ria Duremdes was impressive anew, registering 21 digs and nine excellent receptions.

“Sabi ko nga sa players kailangan mamuhunan tayo sa service at saka receive kasi dyan lagi nagkakatalo,” said De los Santos, whose wards also had eight service aces.

“Once na hindi ka maka-receive kahit malakas ang attack natin magiging useless lahat ’yan and ’yung floor defense talagang pinu-push namin ang mga bata na hindi mauna ang attack sa amin,” he added.

De los Santos was also pleased with the performance of graduating setter Gyzelle Sy, who delivered all of the Lady Tamaraws’ 55 excellent sets.

“Sobrang laki ng parte niya kasi sabi ko nga kanina hindi pwedeng ikaw ang unang bibigay kasi ikaw ang ‘yung magdadala experienced player ka ipakita mo na senior ka dyan and kaya mo naman talaga ang labanan,” he said.

Nicole Tiamzon scored 12 points, while rookies Diana Carlos and Isa Molde had 11 and 10 markers, respectively, for UP.

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