ADAMSON University saved a match point to stop Far Eastern University, storming from two sets down to win in emphatic style on Sunday at the start of the best-of-three semifinal series of the Shakey's V-League Season 11 First Conference at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Falcons were on the brink of defeat in the third but held on to turn back the Lady Tamaraws 19-25, 22-25, 26-24, 25-15, 15-12.
The Jovelyn Gonzaga-powered FEU squad was already at match point, 24-22, but the Lady Falcons poured in four consecutive points, capped by an Amanda Villanueva spike to extend the match.
Bhebs Pineda then caught fire and powered the Adamson surge in the last two sets, dishing out an all-around game to finish with 22 points to go with 19 excellent digs.
Thai reinforcement Pacharee Sangmuang added 21 points, while guest player Pau Soriano also made 12 for Adamson, which is now one win away from the Finals.
"Ang sabi ko lang sa kanila ituloy lang 'yung laro," said Adamson coach Sherwin Meneses.
"Kasi sa first two sets sa mga bandang huli na nagkakahiwalay ang score kaya sabi ko lang kumapit sila. Buti noong fifth set may kumpyansa na ang mga players kaya maganda na laro nila."
It was still a tight match early in the fourth, but then Adamson found another gear and extended a 10-9 lead to 23-13 then cruised to victory.
The Lady Falcons led from start to finish in the fifth to take the match, which lasted for two hours and five minutes.
Gonzaga, the former league MVP brought in just before the quarterfinals, did most of the damage for the Lady Tamaraws, coming up with a game-high 24 points from 17 spikes, six blocks and one service ace.
“Grabe depensa ng FEU, mas madepensa sila sa amin, si Jov pa napunta sa kanila eh grabe talaga siya dumepensa,” said Meneses of Gonzaga.
Guest player Rachel Anne Daquis and regular player Bernadette Pons chipped in 16 markers, apiece for FEU.