FAR Eastern University recovered from a faltering start to score a 23-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-21 victory over reigning Perpetual Help on Sunday to boost its quarterfinal bid in the Shakey’s V-League Season 11 First Conference at The Arena in San Juan City.
Bernadette Pons and Mary Joy Palma combined for 36 hits, with the former backing up libero Christine Agno’s 24 digs with nine as the Lady Tamaraws stayed in fourth spot at 2-2 in Group B paced by early quarterfinalist and defending champion National University.
FEU also sent NCAA champion Perpetual Help reeling to its third straight defeat and on the brink of elimination in the season-opening conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s and backed by Mikasa, Accel and Lion Tiger Mosquito Coil.
“We had a bad start. Good thing my players kept their composure and played strong in the next three sets,” said FEU coach Shaq delos Santos.
The Lady Altas just didn't have an answer to the power-hitting Pons and Palma, saving only 38 out of 223 dig attempts.
Perpetual Help actually charged back from a 10-19 deficit in the fourth by racking up 10 of the next 14 points to close within, 20-23. But Palma unleashed a pair of kills to quash the Las Piñas-based squad’s last-ditch rally.
Abigail Praca, Norie Jane Diaz and Jamela Suyat pooled 44 hits but the Lady Altas, who suited up minus coach Sammy Acaylar, just couldn’t pull it off in the end. Acaylar, who steered the team past the Arellano U Lady Chiefs to win the NCAA crown, is in Thailand as coach of the national women's team in the Asian Women's Club Championship.
The league takes a break in observance of Lent with action and will resume on Easter Sunday with the Davao Lady Agilas debuting against the FEU Lady Tams and Ateneo battling St. Benilde.
Faith Torres fired eight hits while guest player Toni Rose Basas and Marie Simborio chipped in seven hits apiece for FEU while Ana Diocareza and Shaira Cabriana combined for nine points for Perpetual.
The NU-FEU match last Thursday will be aired at 1 p.m. on Monday on GMA News TV Channel, while the Perpetual-FEU clash and the UST-SSC duel will be shown on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.