Lady Tams crush Stags, gain V-L semis

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FEU’s Kyle Negrito (12) fails to return a hit from SSC’s Joyce Sta. Rita as teammate Jerrili Malabanan and Lady Stag Kyle Negrito look on. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

FEU’s Kyle Negrito (12) fails to return a hit from SSC’s Joyce Sta. Rita as teammate Jerrili Malabanan and Lady Stag Kyle Negrito look on. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Far Eastern U charged back late in the first two sets then dominated the third to stun San Sebastian College, 27-25, 25-20, 25-11, and barge into the semifinal round of the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Collegiate Conference at The Arena in San Juan on Saturday.

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The Lady Tams showed tremendous composure in fighting back from 20-23 down in the opening frame, winning seven of the next nine points on combination play and quick sets to complete the steal. They also trailed early in the next, 2-6, but came out of another huddle an organized lot while pouncing on the Lady Stags’ errors to go 2-0.

The Lady Stags, coming off a series of wins to cruise into the quarters of the mid-season conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s, never recovered from that back-to-back setbacks and struggled the rest of the way, enabling the Lady Tams to coast to the 78-minute win to join the National U Lady Bulldogs in the next round at 3-1.

FEU will still play Ateneo in the final quarters playdate on Wednesday but with SSC and UP set to face off also on that same day and Ateneo and UP clashing at presstime, the Lady Tams are assured of a berth in the semis even if they drop their match to the Lady Eagles.

“I just told them to stay focused and be patient,” said FEU coach Shaq delos Santos, who wards were coming off a sorry five-set defeat to the Lady Bulldogs last Wednesday.

Bernadeth Pons fired 17 hits, Mary Joy Palma added 14 points and Toni Rose Basas and Anne Guino-o each turned in nine markers as the Lady Tams overpowered the Grethcel Soltones-led Lady Stags, 42-33, and scored seven points off the block while holding their rivals without a point on the net.

FEU also cashed in on SSC’s poor service reception, coming away with 12 aces with Palma scoring four and Jerrili Malabanan three.

Soltones unloaded 12 kills but was pulled out late in the third when the Lady Tams virtually put the outcome beyond doubt at 15-7, 18-8 and 23-9.

Nikka Dalisay added nine points while Joyce Sta. Rita, Denice Lim and Katherine Villegas combined for 15 markers for the Recoletos-based school, which dropped to 2-2.

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