Lady Tams crush Blazers, share lead

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College of St. Benilde’s Rachel Austero blocks Toni Rose Basa of Far Eastern University during the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference elimination round at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City. BOB DUNGO JR.

College of St. Benilde’s Rachel Austero blocks Toni Rose Basa of Far Eastern University during the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference elimination round at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City. BOB DUNGO JR.

Far Eastern University (FEU) overwhelmed reigning National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) champion College of St. Benilde with its power game and superb court coverage, fashioning out a surprisingly easy 25-16, 25-18, 25-18 victory to gain an early share of the Group B lead in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Collegiate Conference on Monday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

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The Lady Tamaraws, champions in 2014, unloaded 34 attack points, 15 more than the Lady Blazers, who hardly showed the form that steered them past the San Sebastian Lady Stags for the NCAA crown last year.

Bernadeth Pons fired 11 hits while skipper Mary Joy Palma and Toni Rose Basas added 10 points each for the Lady Tamaraws, who joined the University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons, who swept the San Beda Lady Red Spikers in Saturday’s opener of the mid-season conference on top of Group B.

FEU did well in plugging the holes left by their former starting setter Gyzelle Sy with coach splitting the role between Maria Angelica Cayuna and Kyle Angela Negrito.

Cayuna earned the starting spot and made 19 out of her team’s 36 excellent hits in an impressive start.

“I just want to expose them both so that I will have two options when we compete in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines,” said FEU coach Shaq delos Santos of her new pair of playmakers.

The Lady Tams took 12 of the first 15 points to set the tone for the rout in the match.

In the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Collegiate Conference, National University and University of Santo Tomas fashioned out a pair of three-set romps over their respective rivals to join opening day winners De La Salle University and UP in the early lead.

The Bulldogs drew a combined 31-hit output from Bryan Bagunas, Francis Saura and Madzlan Gampong to turn back FEU in a tightly-fought duel, 25-23, 25-23, 25-22, and gain a share of the early lead with the Archers, who repulsed sister school St. Benilde in four on Saturday, in Group A.

UST, on the other hand, overpowered National College of Business and Arts, 25-18, 25-20, 25-13, to share the lead with UP, which foiled Emilio Aguinaldo College in four, in Group B.

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