Far Eastern University (FEU) formalized its Final Four entry by virtue of its hard-earned 25-23, 25-22, 20-25, 28-26 win over Adamson University on Wednesday in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Lady Tamaraws ended the elimination round with a 9-5 record to claim the No. 3 spot, leaving University of the Philippines (7-6) and National University (7-6) slugging it out for the last Final Four berth.
Defending champion Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University have already secured their tickets to the playoffs.
Ateneo, earlier, regained the solo lead following its 25-15, 25-13, 25-11 victory over University of the East (UE).
Two-time Most Valuable Player Alyssa Valdez was merciless as she fired 17 points on 14 attacks, two blocks and an ace while Jhoana Maraguinto chipped in 10 hits, two blocks and an ace for the Lady Eagles, who improved to 11-2.
Playmaker Jia Morado had 27 excellent sets and libero Gizelle Tan registered 14 digs and six perfect receptions.
“Coach Tai (Bundit) told us to just medidate especially when we’re on panic mode. We’re just enjoying every game,” said Morado.
The victory serves as morale booster for Ateneo, which is scheduled to face archrival De La Salle University on Sunday.
The Lady Warriors suffered their 13th straight loss this season.
In the men’s division, NU secured its spot in the Final Four by outlasting La Salle, 25-19, 25-27, 18-25, 25-21, 15-12.
Five NU players finished in double digits including 20 from James Natividad and 18 from Madzlan Gampong as the Bulldogs wrapped up the elimination round with 10-4.
Francis Saura and Ruben Baysac added 15 markers each, and Kim Malabungna delivered 12.
La Salle fell to 4-9.
Ateneo kept its hold of the top spot following its 26-24, 25-21, 25-15 demolition of UE.
The Blue Eagles now have 12-1 while the Red Warriors remained winless in 13 games. EMIL C. NOGUERA