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FEU survives Adamson scare, nears SSL bronze

Faida Bakanke of Far Eastern University unloads 18 points in leading the Lady Tamaraws to a five-set win over Adamson University in Game 1 of the SSL Collegiate Pre-season Championship best-of-three battle for bronze. (SSL photo)

Far Eastern University staved off Adamson University’s fightback from two sets down to eke out a 25-20, 25-19, 12-25, 14-25, 15-12 escape in Game 1 of the Shakey’s Super League Collegiate Pre-Season Championship bronze medal match Friday at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila.

Faida Bakanke and Chenie Tagaod powered the Lady Tamaraws in the tightly contested fifth set to pull through in the opener of the best-of-three series.

Game 2 is set Saturday at the same venue while Game 3, if necessary, is on Sunday.

Bakanke fired 18 points with all but one coming off hits while Tagaod hammered down the last two kills of the match to finish with 12 markers for FEU.

“It was a test of character for the team. I felt the team got too complacent knowing that we won against Adamson during the eliminations,” Lady Tamaraws coach Manolo Refugia said.

“It seemed that they lost the drive after winning the first two sets. At least, the team displayed maturity in the closing stretch, and we got this win.”

Gerzel Petallo added eight points while Tin Ubaldo and Zyra Danica Morales got six markers apiece for FEU.

The Lady Tamaraws seemed poised to score another sweep of the same team they dominated in their first meeting after taking the first two sets.

However, skipper Lucille Almonte, Lorene Toring and Maria Rochelle Lalongisip joined forces in the Lady Falcons’ uprising to take the next two sets that forced the decider.

FEU quickly regrouped and snapped out of its fun, racing to a 4-0 start that it held to build an 11-6 gap only for Lalongisip to ignite another rally as Adamson closed in, 13-11.

And when the Lady Tamaraws were in search of answers amidst another meltdown, Tagaod heeded the call by uncorking back-to-back hits for the closing 2-1 exchange.

Lalongisip led the Lady Falcons with 15 points while Toring and Almonte had 14 and 11 markers, respectively.

Meanwhile, College of St. Benilde finished fifth after taking a 25-12, 20-25, 22-25, 29-27, 15-4 win over the University of the East.

Ateneo de Manila University, on the other hand, escaped Arellano University, 25-16, 20-25, 25-22, 22-25, 15-11, to end its campaign at seventh place.

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