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La Salle sets up semis match vs Adamson

De La Salle University grabbed a semifinals seat after a clinical dismantling of archrival Ateneo de Manila University, 25-17, 25-23, 25-10, in the quarterfinals of the Shakey’s Super League Collegiate Pre-season Championship at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum on Sunday.

Rookie Angel Canino showed the way for the Lady Spikers, blasting 19 points including the finishing blows to close all three sets.

La Salle’s victory set up a collision course with its second round tormentor Adamson University, which earlier booked a ticket to the knockout Final Four with a 25-14, 25-16, 25-16 drubbing of University of Perpetual Help.

The semis playdate is on Friday, November 11.

“I just reminded them after our loss to Adamson last night to play with pride. Since it’s Ateneo-La Salle, I told them to play with pride and heart,” Lady Spikers coach Noel Orcullo said. “Just enjoy the game and don’t be tight inside the court.”

La Salle took the fight out of the Blue Eagles early in the third set by clogging the net to frustrate Ateneo’s hitters. The Lady Spikers blew the frame wide open with an 8-2 run for a 21-9 advantage.

Faith Nisperos tried to bring a spark of hope to Ateneo with a crosscourt kill to end the Blue Eagles’ bleeding, but Makana Kowalski was whistled for double contact in the next play before Canino iced the match with the last of her 16 kills.

Thea Gagate added 12 points for La Salle she collected from eight spikes and four kill blocks while Leila Cruz had nine. Mars Alba dished out 24 excellent sets to help the Lady Spikers hammer down 39 attack points.

The Lady Spikers snatched the opening set with an 11-3 swing that broke a 14-14 deadlock.

Ateneo had a chance to equalize in the second set, taking a 22-20 advantage but La Salle answered with a 5-1 rally punctuated by a Canino cross court missile to steal the frame for a 2-0 match lead.

Nisperos and Alexis Miner paced the Blue Eagles with eight points each while Vannie Gandler had seven.

Ateneo is relegated in the classification round.

Meanwhile, unbeaten National University booted out Far Eastern University, 25-10, 25-17, 25-15, for a spot in the Final Four.

The Lady Bulldogs will take on the winner between University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas, who are still disputing the last semis seat as of posting time.

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