Lady Tamaraws stun Lady Bulldogs for 1-0 lead in V-League finals
MANILA, Philippines — Gritty Far Eastern University shut down National University, 26-24, 26-24, 25-22, Sunday to draw first blood in their best-of-three Shakey’s V-League Season 11 First Conference finals series.
The Lady Tamaraws hung tough in the first two sets then shrugged off a poor start in the third to stun the Lady Bulldogs, who had the back-to-back MVP Dindin Santiago in tow.
“I just told the players to just persevere. We relaxed in the third set after the intense first two sets, I’m happy we pulled through,” said an ecstatic head coach Shaq Delos Santos.
Carried by their veteran guest players Rachel Ann Daquis and Jovelyn Gonzaga, the league-pioneer FEU moved to a victory away from its first-ever title.
Daquis, a former FEU star, dished out 19 points including five service winners while Jovelyn Gonzaga impressed with nine points and 17 excellent digs.
“Our two guest players are really big help to us,” said Delos Santos, who last won the title in the Shakey’s V-League when he was still mentoring UST, in Filipino.
Sophomore Bernadette Pons, whom Delos Santos revealed is nursing is mild ankle sprain, summoned a valiant performance with 14 points.
Pons scored the last three points for the Lady Tamaraws, who completed a turnaround from a 1-8 deficit in the third, including the off-speed clincher.
“She’s really a fighter. I can’t say anything about her fighting spirit,” Delos Santos said of Pons.
The Lady Bulldogs, who were big favorites entering the series, were a big let-down after squandering their early edge in all three sets.
Santiago, shortly after getting her MVP plum, was limited to just 13 points while Carmin Aganon added 11 points for NU, which has a chance to even things out in game 2 on Sunday.
Get the hottest sports news straight into your inbox
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.