University of Santo Tomas, once on the brink of elimination, arranged a titular showdown with National University after thwarting Far Eastern University, 25-21, 25-20, 19-25, 25-20, in the knockout semifinals of the Shakey’s Super League Collegiate Pre-Season Championship Season 2 late Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila.
Super rookie Angeline Poyos sizzled with 21 points on 17 hits and four blocks as the Golden Tigresses stabilized their title bid in the nick of time after nearly squandering a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
Jonna Perdido and Regina Jurado added 15 and 14 points, respectively, for UST to earn a rematch against reigning champion NU after their semifinal duel in the inaugural season.
UST and NU, which swept Adamson in the other semis bracket, slug it out on Friday for Game 1 of the best-of-three finals series of the Season 2 backed by Mikasa, Eurotel, Victory Liner, Summit Bottle Water, Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken, R and B Milk Tea, Potato Corner, Rebel Sports, Converge ICT Solutions, Genius Sports and United Auctioneers Inc.
“I like the attitude of the players because they refused to give up. They really fought hard for this victory. That fighting attitude is something I want to see,” UST deputy mentor Lerma Giron said, speaking on behalf of head coach Kungfu Reyes.
The Tigresses, indeed, never let up with two straight wins since a tough 22-25, 25-23, 25-18, 23-25, 11-15 loss to the Lady Blazers in Game 1 of the quarterfinals.
Armed with a win-once bonus, UST took care of business with a 25-15, 25-16, 19-25, 32-30 win over St. Benilde in Game 2 to march on to the semis — where it overcame FEU.
Save for a second-set meltdown, the Tigresses kept their poise in taming the Lady Tamaraws to earn another shot at the Lady Bulldogs.
UST bowed to NU in the SSL Season 1 semis, 23-25, 25-23,
21-25, 17-25, before losing to Adamson in the bronze-medal match to settle for fourth place.
The Tigresses also absorbed a 19-25, 20-25, 16-25 defeat to the Lady Bulldogs in the elimination round this season but are hoping for a different result in the finale.