UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas sent the erstwhile unbeaten Davao selection crashing back down to earth on Sunday, winning in four sets to formalize its entry into the quarterfinals of the Shakey's V-League Season 11 First Conference at The Arena in San Juan.
Pam Lastimosa scored 20 and Mela Tunay came up with 19 as the Tigresses turned back the Lady Agilas 23-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-17.
It was UST’s third straight win after losing the opening match to group leader NU (4-1). The Tigresses forged a tie for second place at 3-1 with the Davao selection.
The Lady Agilas had won their previous three matches, but were playing their fourth in seven days.
The Tigresses, on the other hand, were well rested and the coaching staff used part of the two-week break preparing for their future matches.
"Nakapag-prepare kasi kami para sa Davao. Napanood kasi namin ’yung first three games nila,” said Tigresses coach Odjie Mamon.
The Tigresses needed an hour and 58 minutes to close out the match and Mamon, a former national team member, was quite upset as he believes they could have finished it more comfortably — in straight sets — if not for a crucial call by the referee in the first set.
The game was tied at 23 when the linesman ruled May Agton's hit the line, giving Davao a 24-23 edge and the Lady Agilas went on to take the set.
“The first set was crucial, ’yung call lang kasi, 23-all yung contest, we could have gotten the game in three sets,” he added.
The España-based worked hard to prevent another close call and controlled the rest of the match.
The Tigresses went on an 8-2 run to finish the third set. And from a slim two-point advantage in the fourth, 11-9, the six-time V-League champions used a 7-1 blast to pull away.
Jocemer Tapic came up with 17 points for Davao, Agton added 16, skipper Venus Flores had 12 and Princess Oliveros scored 11 for the team made up of players from different schools in Davao.
Mamon praised Agton and Flores for their down the line attacks, but it was setter Reynelen Raterta who carried the team according to the lanky mentor.
“Strength ng Davao is ’yung setter,” he said. “’Yun talaga nagdadala, pero attackers sa dulo ’yung No. 18 (Flores) and No. 1 (Agton) marami napapatay sa down the line (attacks).”