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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Tamaraws rise from the brink, repel Stallions

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Chef on a Diet-FEU battled back from two sets down and snatched a 21-25, 23-25, 26-24, 25-19, 15-12 squeaker over a stunned PGJC-Navy side in the Spikers’ Turf Invitational Conference at the Paco Arena in Manila yesterday.

The Tams actually still trailed in the third frame and barely pulled through in an extended battle but took the fourth on a fiery windup and completed their big fightback in the decider to join opening day winners EcoOil-La Salle and Fudgee Barr-Ateneo in the early lead in their respective groups.

FEU coach Eddieson Orcullo cited his wards’ coming-of-age and composure, saying: “Nakita namin ‘yung maturity ng bawat isa. Siguro baka kailangan lang panghawakan namin ‘yung moment na syempre kapag lumalamang yung kabila, ‘di mo pwedeng bitawan.”

They did trail the seasoned Stallions by one in the fifth set but Jerold Talisayan stepped up and scored two points in a big 3-0 FEU counter-attack that shoved the Tamaraws to a 12-10 lead.

Christian Marcelino fired an off-the-block hit in the ensuing Navy offensive, but Lirick Mendoza hammered a quick hit and the Morayta-based squad moved to match point on a Joeven dela Vega attack error.

A Talisayan service miscue, however, stalled the Tamaraws but Dryx Saavedra came through with an emphatic kill to finish off the Stallions.

“Bago pa magsimula ‘yung game, napag-usapan namin na ready kami for the worst. Katulad nya, down na kami ng dalawa, at lamang pa sila nu’ng third. Siguro naging ready lang kami doon sa mangyayari,” said Orcullo.

Earlier, Talisayan combined with Zhydryx Saavedra to spearhead FEU’s charge in the third before the Tamaraws unleashed a decisive 7-1 run to turn an 18-all count to a six-point victory.

Ariel Cacao put up a 29-excellent set performance for the Tamaraws, who will take on the Bayleaf Hotels-LPU next Sunday while Navy faces Xentro Mall-EAC on Nov. 5 in Pool D play.


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