MANILA, Philippines—Far Eastern University stunned Ateneo, 25-20, 25-17, 25-16, Wednesday in the UAAP Season 75 women’s volleyball tournament at the Arena in San Juan.
Head coach Kid Santos, though, wasn’t surprised at all following his team’s masterful win of the Lady Eagles, who have now reeled to their third straight setback after a 6-0 start.
“I told my players that (we can win in straight sets),” said Santos, who was handed the coaching reins, replacing Nestor Pamilar after FEU’s 1-3 start. “Kahit 80 percent lang laruin nila mananalo kami in three sets or kung hindi kahit four sets basta alam ko mananalo kami.”
FEU streaked to its fourth straight win, improving its record to 4-1 since Santos called the shots and 5-4 overall to tie NU in fourth place.
“They (my players) believe in themselves.”
The Lady Tams controlled the game from the get-go with both their defense and offense in high gear.
FEU drew a balanced attack from its scorers with Marjorie Roxas and Rosemarie Vargas tallying 11 points each.
Wenneth Eulalio and Marie Toni Basas added 10 apiece while Mary Palma registered eight points.
FEU pulled away from an 11-10 third-set lead as it pounced on Ateneo’s poor reception to build a 23-15 advantage.
“Ganun lang naman talaga, kailangan lang ng tiyaga, hindi mo mabibigla,” added Santos.
The Lady Tamaraws’ solid defense limited explosive scorer Alyssa Valdez to just 15 points after going off for a league-high 35 markers in the Lady Eagles’ sorry loss to Adamson, 25-22, 25-21, 19-25, 16-25, 10-15, last Sunday.
The Lady Eagles, who are in danger of falling out of the No.2 spot at 6-3, visibly missed the absence of Fille Cainglet for the third straight game.
Cainglet rolled her right ankle during a game against De La Salle.
Valdez, the former University of Santo Tomas star in high school, kept her team afloat in the early part of the third set, racking up three straight points to cut the deficit to two, 6-8.
Ateneo though, just couldn’t get into the flow of things with FEU holding its own defensively. A block by Vargas widened the Lady Tams’ gap to five, 16-11, in the third set.
Valdez’s attempt was too strong, allowing FEU to go into match point, 24-15.