UST rips SSC, seals V-League finals slotBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas did away with the suspense that marked the first two games of the series and forged a methodical straight-set victory over San Sebastian, 25-12, 25-13, 25-23, to claim the last championship berth in the Shakey’s V-League yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Arena.
Thai import Kaensing Utaiwan had 14 kills in a 17-point outing, while Judy Caballejo dropped 14 to lead the Tigresses in the anticlimactic, winner-take-all Game 3.
“We just wanted to be intense all throughout the game,” said UST coach Odjie Mamon. “We no longer wanted to extend the match to another five-setter.”
The Tigresses will take on Ateneo, the unbeaten top seed, in the best-of-three championship series starting in Game 1 this Sunday.
“This was our goal from the start,” said Mamon as UST bids for a seventh championship after a two-year hiatus from the league.
The Tigresses also held San Sebastian’s Jeng Bualee to 18 markers just two two days after the veteran Thai import exploded for a league record of 40 points.
“We got dominated,” San Sebastian coach Clint Malazo admitted. “We worked on our blocking and receiving, but they were too much for us.”
The Lady Stags, though, had threatened to extend the match by tying the count at 23 in the third frame, before the Tigresses wrapped it up with back-to-back spikes from Utaiwan and Maika Ortiz.
Ortiz added nine markers, while former MVP Mary Jean Balse, Maruja Banaticla and Rhea Dimaculangan also came through in the Tigresses’ emphatic performance.
Defending champion Ateneo claimed the first title berth last Tuesday following a 2-0 semifinal sweep of Perpetual Help.
UST took a 1-0 start in the series before San Sebastian forced the decider in Game 2. With reports from Randolph Leongson and Rodolfo Lozada