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FEU nears semifinals berth

FAIDA Bakanke pounds the crucial hits in Far Eastern University’s 25-19, 25-23, 25-23, win over Adamson University to get a clearer path to the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball Final Four. | photograph by Joey Sanchez Mendoza for the Daily Tribune @tribunephl_joey

Games today:

(Mall of Asia Arena)

10 a.m. — UP vs UST (m)

12 p.m. — Ateneo vs NU (m)

2 p.m. — UP vs UST (w)

4 p.m. — Ateneo vs NU (w)


Far Eastern University (FEU) inched closer to ending a five-year Final Four drought.

Hungry to secure the last semifinals berth, the Lady Tamaraws wasted no time in sweeping Adamson University, 25-19, 25-23, 25-23, for their second straight win in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament on Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

FEU tightened its grip on the fourth spot after improving to a 6-4 win-loss record and boosted its chances to join University of Santo Tomas, defending champion De La Salle University and National University in the Final Four cast.

“Of course, in our situation now, we’re more eager to reach our goal of making it to the Final Four. Also we have a goal of getting back at the teams that beat us in the first round,” Lady Tamaraws head coach Manolo Refugia said.

In men’s play, FEU assured itself of at least a playoff for a semis seat after beating Adamson, 25-17, 25-17, 25-22, for the solo lead with a 9-1 slate.

Martin Bugaoan top-scored for the Tamaraws with 11 points on nine attacks and two kill blocks while Jayjay Javelona and Andrei Delicana added nine markers apiece. Zhyrdryx Saavedra had eight points.

The Falcons dropped to a 4-6 mark.

La Salle, on the other hand, eliminated University of the East in semis contention with a 25-17, 25-11, 25-21, victory for a 7-3 card.

The Red Warriors absorbed their ninth loss in 10 games.

With the Lady Falcons closing in in the third set, 21-22, Faida Bakanke unleashed two consecutive hits late in the frame to give put FEU at matchpoint, 24-21.

Adamson did not go down without a fight, capitalizing on a Chennie Tagaod service error followed by a Barbie Jamili attack to close the gap to a solitary point.

Gerzel Petallo went for the offspeed hit in the following play to try and seal the win but game officials let the rally continue forcing FEU to call a floor touch challenge — which it eventually won to end the match.

Four Lady Tamaraws finished in the double digits with Bakanke posting a game-high 13 points on 11 attacks and two blocks in the one-hour and 26-minute victory.

Tagaod added 12 markers to go along with seven excellent receptions while Petallo and Asis contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively, for FEU.

The Lady Tamaraws’ victory also officially booted out idle University of the Philippines in the Final Four race.

On the other hand, the Lady Falcons slid to a 2-8 card at the seventh spot, and are now a loss away from elimination. A victory by FEU in its next match will also boot out Adamson from contention.

Red Bascon paced the Lady Falcons with 13 points while Jamili had 11 markers on 11 attacks to go along with seven excellent receptions and six excellent digs.

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