FEU ends nine-year UAAP Finals drought, ousts Ateneo
Far Eastern University ended a nine-year finals drought after eliminating Ateneo, 25-20, 25-21, 14-25, 25-19, to advance to the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball Finals Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The Lady Tamaraws, who are in contention for their 30th title, also halted the Lady Eagles’ streak of six straight appearances in the championship round.
Despite dropping the third set against the rejuvenated Lady Eagles, the Lady Tamaraws charged head on in the fourth and mounted an instrumental 8-1 run with the quiet Toni Rose Basas making her presence felt.
Basas managed to change Jhoana Maraguinot’s attempt with the Lady Eagle hitting the ball straight to the net for FEU’s 15-11 lead.
After an earlier mistake gave Ateneo a free point, Basas went straight back to work with a down-the-line kill then a beautiful block on Maraguinot for FEU’s 17-12 lead.
“We’re really speechless because we’ve worked really hard for this, and my players and I talked about all our sacrifices just to get here,” said FEU head coach George Pascua in Filipino.
Basas, after her inspiring scoring in the middle of the third set, scored another dagger that gave the Lady Tamaraws the 23-16 lead before skipper Bernadeth Pons put them at the 24-16 match point.
Although Ateneo scored three straight, two from Kat Tolentino and another one from Maddie Madayag, to cut the deficit to 24-19, Kyle Negrito rose up to block Maraguinot for FEU’s winner.
Tolentino and Maraguinot had 11 points each to lead the Lady Eagles.
Although FEU outscored Ateneo 40-35 in spikes, it also gave away 41 free points due to its errors.
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