UST, FEU dispute Final Four berth as UP vies to stay alive

MANILA, Philippines – Only two more spots in the Final Four remain up for grabs and the last 3 teams in the race vow to go all out in the final stretch of the eliminations of the UAAP women's volleyball tournament. 

The winner of the match between the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses and Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws will clinch a Final Four seat. 

But if the University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons will get swept by the National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs, then the Dliminan-based squad will be eliminated, thus giving UST and FEU outright semifinals berths. 

UST and FEU, both tied with 8-4 cards, already secured at least a playoff berth for the semifinals after winning over UP and NU, respectively. 

Now, it's just timely that the long-time tournament rivals will face each other in a crucial match on Sunday, April 14, 4 pm, at the Mall of Asia Arena. 

The Golden Tigresses remain as the best spiking team in the league thanks to Sisi Rondina, whom they can always count on, especially down the stretch. 

The UST captain now leads the league in scoring with 217 points off 193 spikes, 14 blocks and 10 aces, followed by rookie Eya Laure's 200 points from 171 spikes, 17 blocks and 12 aces. 

In the last round, the Golden Tigresses stumbled against the Lady Tamaraws as they lost Fil-Italian Milena Alessandrini to injury. But with UST taking pride in working as a team in its previous games, the España-based squad is confident that it can exact revenge on FEU. 

The Lady Tamaraws, though, remain on a roll. After exerting mastery over UP with a new game plan, FEU cruised to a vicious straight-set win over NU last Wednesday, April 10. 

Even without topscoring rookie Lycha Ebon, FEU proved to be formidable with veterans Heather Guino-o and Jerrili Malabanan leading the team's offense. 

At 2 pm, the UP Lady Maroons won't let up on their Final Four bid, especially against the young NU Lady Bulldogs who pulled off a shocking five-set win over them in the first round. 

With UP standout Isa Molde slowly recovering from her left ankle injury, Marian Buitre and Tots Carlos have been the main spiking options of Ayel Estrañero. 

And Buitre, who led the Lady Maroons with 16 points over UST, knows that the team has no more room for error in order to stay alive this season. 

The Lady Bulldogs, on the other hand, continue to play without pressure and they just want to finish the season strong and proud. – Rappler.com

 

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.

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