La Salle joins UST, NU on top

April 17, 2024 Theodore P. Jurado 153 views

DEFENDING champion La Salle had a bounce-back win but it needed to a brush off a lackluster start to repulse Adamson, 17-25, 25-19, 25-11, 25-22, and force a three-way tie in first place in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Already without reigning MVP Angel Canino for the fourth straight match, the Lady Spikers also lost Jyne Soreño in an apparent left arm injury late in the first set after colliding with libero Lyka De Leon while trying to dig a ball. She did not return, going back to the bench wearing a sling.

With a 10-2 slate, La Salle is now level with University of Santo Tomas and National University, making the chase for two twice-to-beat berths in the Final Four too close to call.

Later, Far Eastern University rebounded from a third set meltdown to beat University of the East, 25-19, 25-15, 22-25, 25-16 to keep its slim hopes of securing a twice-to-beat Final Four incentive with a 8-4 record.

“Actually nung first set talagang sobrang tentative yung galaw nila naghihintayan walang gustong maglead. Yun yung naging resulta. Pag walang naglilead nagiging pangit yung galaw,” said Lady Spikers assistant coach Orcullo. “Buti na lang nanalo, nakuha yung second set at nagtuloy tuloy. A win is a win pa rin talaga kahit masama yung laro.

Shevana Laput, continuing to fill the gaps left by Canino on offense, had a personal career-high 24 points, including two blocks, while Thea Gagate had three blocks for a 12-point effort for La Salle.

After a scoreless first two sets, Alleiah Malaluan logged eight points in the last two sets, while setter Julia Coronel matched Gagate’s three blocks and tossed in 19 excellent sets for the Lady Spikers, who rebounded from last Sunday’s four-set defeat to the Lady Bulldogs.

In the men’s division, FEU subdued UE 25-17, 17-25, 28-26, 25-19, to assure itself of at least a playoff for a twice-to-beat incentive, while La Salle secured its second straight Final Four appearance with a 26-24, 25-17, 25-23 win over Adamson.

The Tamaraws rose to 11-1 to remain atop the standings and. FEU is holding a two-game cushion of joint-second placers NU and La Salle, both at 9-3.

“Yung game sa UE, yung pinagusapan namin before na yung pride nakita naman natin yung UE talagang inilaban nila yung every single point kaya kudos din sa UE,” said FEU coach Eddieson Orcullo.

Dryx Saavedra led the way for the Tamaraws with 16 points on 15-of-28 spikes, while Martin Bugaoan and Andrei Delicana each contributed 13 points on identical lines of eight attacks and five blocks.

JM Ronquillo spearheaded the Green Spikers’ charge to the semis with 16 points, including two blocks, and four digs, Noel Kampton chipped in 12 points and 13 receptions while Vince Maglinao provided 11 points.

“Happy naman. Ito naman siguro yung pinaghahandaan namin after last season. Still somehow hindi pa rin kami ganon kakumbinsido. We’ll try our best na matapos namin yung last two games ng maayos,” said Green Spikers coach Jose Roque.