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Thursday, May 30, 2024

UAAP women’s volleyball: Adamson survives UP in five-set thriller

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Adamson University revived its flickering Final Four hopes by surviving the University of the Philippines in a thrilling match, with scores of 25-17, 23-25, 20-25, 25-23, 15-13 in the UAAP Season 86 Women’s Volleyball Tournament at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila on Saturday.

All it took was a cool and calm timeout by head coach JP Yude late in the fourth set, and a lot of grit and fight in the decider for the Lady Falcons to reach for the skies again after a nightmare six-game slump, improving their record to 3-8 at solo sixth.

However, a Far Eastern University win in its last four games will complete the Final Four cast.

“Sabi ko sa mga bata kailangan trabahuhin talaga always, na huwag tumigil every time kasi wala namang imposible kung gugustuhin talaga nila, yung willingness talaga na manalo,” said Yude.

The Fighting Maroons threatened to send Adamson into a seventh-straight loss with a 22-20 lead in the fourth then came the timeout that lit a fire in the Lady Falcons.

Barbie Jamili, May Ann Nuique, and Ayesha Juegos worked double time to overturn that deficit into a 25-23 fourth-set escape.

Then in the fifth, it was the closest of battles as Jewel Encarnacion, Joan Monares, and Niña Ytang answered every Adamson point to force a 13-all tie.

In the ensuing play though, Abi Goc committed a costly service error that the Lady Falcons capitalized on as Jen Villegas blocked Irah Jaboneta in the following play for the Adamson win in two hours and 33 minutes.

Jamili led the Lady Falcons with an all-around showing of 16 points, 14 excellent receptions, and 11 digs, while Nuique backed her up with 15 points.

Villegas and Red Bascon chipped in 12 and 10 points as well as they enjoyed 35 free points from UP.

“Sobrang saya lang kasi sunod sunod po yung talo, masakit para sa amin. Itong panalong ito emotional lang kami lalo na yung mga senior,“ said an emotional Karen Verdeflor, who had a defensive masterclass of 25 digs and 15 receptions.

Adamson’s next game will be on Wednesday against defending champion De La Salle University at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Ytang led all scorers with 17 points as the Fighting Maroons sagged to their fifth straight loss, sinking to 1-11.

Monares and off-the-bench Jewel Encarnacion each delivered 16 points while Steph Bustrillo poured 10 points across three sets.

UP will be back next Saturday against FEU at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

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