Far Eastern U pounced on Adamson’s two costly miscues in the stretch to wrest control then leaned on Toni Rose Basas’ strong finish to pound out a 21-25, 27-25, 25-20, 23-25, 15-11 victory and force a sudden death for the other final berth in the Premier Volley-ball League Collegiate Conference in San Juan last night.
Basas atoned for an earlier wild hit with two drop balls that finished off the Lady Falcons and made up for their 21-25, 25-22, 20-25, 25-14, 15-7 setback in the opener of their best-of-three semifinal series last Wednesday.
They dispute the coveted berth in Game 3 tomorrow, also at the Filoil Flying V Center.
Unbeaten National U and Arellano were dispu-ting the other finals slot at presstime.
The Lady Tams blew a 2-1 set lead and a 21-19 advantage in the fourth as the Lady Falcons racked up six of the last six points to force a decider, a back-and-forth match that has marked the two teams’ faceoffs in the season-ending conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.
But after Adamson scored on back-to-back hits to force a nine-all count in the fifth, the Lady Falcons succumbed with a net violation and a poor first ball, which the Lady Tams used as a springboard to clinch the win and deal the San Marcelino-based squad its first loss in the tournament backed by Mikasa and Asics.
A Basas hit and Carandang’s block against Christine Soyud gave FEU a huge 13-9 lead. And after Basas yielded a point on an attack error, the veteran FEU hitter knocked down two drop shots against a Soyud hit to wrap up the tough victory.
The Lady Tams actually scored on a series of drop balls throughout the match as the Lady Falcons strug-gled with their coverage. Adamson’s charge also suffered a snag after libero Tempai tweaked her ankle early in the fifth set and had to be carried by AdU coach Airess Padda.
Earlier, Far Eastern U pulled off another five-setter of a thriller over National U, 25-14, 16-25, 25-22, 22-25, 15-12, to clinch the first finals berths in the men’s division of the country’s premier league.
But erstwhile unbeaten Ateneo fell in ambush as UST pounced on ace hitter Marck Espejo and skipper Karl Baysa’s absence to pound out a 25-22, 25-23, 22-25, 25-21 decision in the other semifinal match.
Joshua Umandal fired 23 hits while Arnold Bau-tista and Manuel Medina combined for 29 points as the Tigers bounced back from their Game One 19-25, 15-25, 21-25 defeat to hand the Eagles their first-ever loss in the conference and force a sudden death for the right to face the Tams for the champion-ship.They clash again tomorrow.
Espejo, who has led the Eagles’ romp with his power and class, and Baysa didn’t see action to lead Ateneo in the UAAP beach volley tournament, also held yesterday.
On the other hand, National U rallied from 1-2 set down with a dominant fourth set romp, fought back from 9-13 behind in the fifth and fought off a series of deuce points to eke out a grueling 25-17, 26-28, 17-25, 25-13, 20-18 decision over a gutsy Arellano U side to nail the first finals berth in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan last night.
Jaja Santiago exploded with six hits late in the match, carrying NU from a 9-13 deficit to extend the match then, after saving three match points, the Lady Bulldogs snatched the win on Jovielyn Prado’s back-to-back attack errors.
NU thus moved to the finals against either Adam-son or Far Eastern U, which will dispute the other championship berth in a sudden death tomorrow.
The victory also kept the Lady Bulldogs un-beaten in the conference.