UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas bagged the bronze medal with a 25-18, 19-25, 25-19, 25-16 win over Adamson University at the Philsports Arena on Sunday in Game Three of the battle for third place in the 10th Shakey's V-League First Conference.
It was the first time in 11 conferences that the Tigresses failed to make it to the Finals but UST coach Odjie Mamon was glad to finish with a win. Mamon, who took over from coach Shaq de los Santos last year, steered the Tigresses to a runner-up finish in the first conference last season.
"The next best thing kung hindi kami maka-Finals is number three," Mamon said. "Yun lang naman ang target namin, matapos with a win."
From a sluggish second set, where they gave away seven points to Adamson through errors, the España-based spikers regrouped and put up a 10-point advantage, 21-11, after a 12-7 rally to take the third set.
Tied at 15-all, the Tigresses took control later in the final set as they silenced the Lady Falcons with a 19-0 run behind Pam Lastimosa's attack, Carmela Tunay's three straight spikes, Maika Ortiz's runner and two back-to-back service aces from Gi Reyes to position themselves at match point.
Pau Soriano's outside tip handed UST the victory.
Lastimosa finished with 19 points, Ortiz chipped in with 16, Tunay came up with 12 and Reyes produced 10 for the Tigresses, who ended the tournament with a 8-4 win-loss card.
"We had our moments na mababa ang laro namin," said Mamon. "Usually sa end game kami natatalo, may mga games na bugbog kami and talo kami in straight sets pero dikit naman. Kailangan pa namin mag-train pa ng mental toughness."
Adamson team captain Soriano made 13 points, while Mayeth Zapanta had 11.