Back-to-back champions De La Salle University demolished University of the East (UE), 25-8, 25-14, 25-12, to bag the first Final Four berth in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament on Saturday at The Arena in San Juan City.
Majoy Baron and Dawn Nicole Macandili smothered the Lady Warriors’ scoring in all three sets to clinch their ninth victory in 11 games and remain on the top spot.
“My players are very determined to win today. If there’s a chance to sweep the match in three sets, we sweep it. But if not, we do not force it,” said La Salle coach Ramil De Jesus. “I’m just telling the players that we need to get back to tho
se who beat us in first round.”
After the games on Sunday, the second round will resume on April 4.
Baron finished with 10 kills and three blocks for 13 points, while Kim Dy had 11 points with 10 kills. Desiree Cheng contributed nine points also for La Salle.
“Every game, we are all motivated and we want to win that’s why we’re playing all-out,” said Macandili.
“It’s a good feeling that we owe it to our coach. He trained us the best we can be, so we showed it in the games,” said Dy.
No UE player registered double figures in scoring. UE, with a 2-9 win-loss record, was already out of the Final Four race.
Earlier, Far Eastern University (FEU) recovered from a shaky start to trounce University of the Philippines (UP), 21-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-22, boosting its chance of getting one of the two twice-to-beat in the Final Four with only three games left in the elimination.
The Lady Tamaraws banked on tight defense and set plays orchestrated by Kyle Angela Negrito in the last three sets to conquer the Lady Fighting Maroons.
“UP is very aggressive in the first set and they really wanted to beat us. Although our eagerness was there, we didn’t get our timing. So when we got our timing and composur e after the first set, we outplayed them the rest of the way,” said FEU coach George Pascua.
Bernadeth Pons posted 15 points, 14 on attacks, while Jeanette Virginia Villareal had an all-around performance of seven kills, five blocks and three service points to lead FEU. Celine Domingo added 11 points, Toni Rose Basas 10 and Negrito nine also for the Lady Tamaraws.
Dianna Mae Carlos scored 23 points with 19 kills to lead the Lady Fighting Maroons, who suffered their third straight loss for a 3-8 win-loss record.
In the men’s category, Marck Espejo registered his second straight 30-point performance as defending champion Ateneo De Manila University blasted UP, 24-26, 25-15, 25-18, 31-29, to book its fifth consecutive Final Four appearance.
The Blue Eagles improved its win-loss record to 8-2.
FEU swept UE , 25-19, 25-12, 29-27, to enter the Final Four with a similar 8-2 record.
UP fell to 3-8 while UE stayed winless in 11 outings.