LA SALLE punched the first ticket to the UAAP Season 85 women's volleyball finals by beating University of Santo Tomas, 26-24, 25-22, 20-25, 25-19, in the Final Four on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Defense specialist Justine Jazareno was a woman on a mission, coming up with 22 excellent digs and 22 excellent receptions as the top-seeded and twice-to-beat Lady Spikers exacted revenge on the only team to beat them this season.
The Lady Spikers are now two wins away from UAAP championship No. 12 as they take their place in the best-of-three finals against either defending champion National University or Adamson, which clash in the other semifinal.
"Binawi po namin 'yung naging pagkatalo namin [sa UST sa Round 2]," said Jazareno. "Naging motivation s'ya sa 'min going into the finals knowing na natalo din po seniors namin sa kanila before, so binawi po namin sila."
Angel Canino led La Salle in scoring with 19 points, alongside key contributions from Jolina dela Cruz (10 points) and Alleiah Malaluan (9 points).
The fourth-seeded Lady Tigresses, meanwhile, bowed out of the Final Four for the second season running. Captain Eya Laure's UAAP future also hangs in the balance as she ponders on either playing or opting out of her final year of eligibility .
Laure's probable UAAP swansong ends with 15 markers.
Should No. 2 seed and twice-to-beat NU close out Adamson in the other Final Four pairing, Game One of the best-of-three championship series will start on Sunday, May 7, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
However, an Adamson victory will force a winner-take-all match with NU on Sunday, which means Game One will be on Wednesday, May 10 instead, still at the Big Dome.