FAR Eastern University is in the finals for the first time since joining the Shakey's V-League 11 years ago as it downed Adamson University, 25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 25-22, on Thursday in the First Conference semifinals at The Arena in San Juan.
Guest player Rachel Anne Daquis led all scorers as she poured in 26 points, while Bernadette Pons added 15 as the Lady Tamaraws came back from one match down to win the best-of-three semifinal series.
FEU now prepares for the title showdown with defending champion National University starting on Sunday.
Guest player Jovelyn Gonzaga and Mary Palma had 12 points each, while Geneveve Casugod made 10 for FEU, which has never skipped the First Conference in all 11 seasons of V-League.
“Ang sarap ng feeling kasi for the first time nasa Finals kami,” said FEU coach Shaq delos Santos.
“Ang sabi ko lang sa mga bata kung gagawa tayo ng history ’yung maganda na ang gawin natin,” he added.
Down by three, 14-17, the Lady Falcons came up with a 6-2 spurt to snatch the lead, 20-19, in the fourth set.
But Pons, Gonzaga and Palma came up with big hits, while Adamson gave away free points with errors and handed the win to the Lady Tamaraws.
De los Santos is no stranger to V-League finals, who last led the University of Santo Tomas Tigresses to the crown three years ago.
“Honestly na miss ko ang Finals. Andyan na ang mundo natin sa volleyball kaya kung pwede mag perform na tayo ng maganda,” said De los Santos, who had three titles with UST as head coach.
De los Santos is also pleased their decision to tap Daquis, a former finals MVP, and former league MVP Gonzaga before the quarterfinals turned out to be a good one.
“Sobrang laki ng tulong ng dalawa naming guest players, kasi ang goal talaga namin kaya namin sila kinuha is maging leaders sila at madala nila ang mga bata sa loob ng court at kung paano mag handle ng pressure,” he added.
Bhebs Pineda came up with 18 points for Adamson, while Thai reinforcement Pacharee Sangmuang added 17, Mylene Paat contributed 13 and guest player Pau Soriano made 10.
Adamson and UST will play for the bronze medal.