Lady spikers survive Tigresses

DESIREE Cheng had 20 points as defending champion La Salle bested University of Santo Tomas, 21-25, 25-22, 25-19, 26-24, to seize solo second in the UAAP women's volleyball tournament last night before 9,218 fans at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Lourdes Clemente produced a big block to put the Lady Spikers at match point before Eya Laure committed an attack error that gave the Taft-based squad their second straight win.

La Salle improved to 7-3 overall behind league-leading Ateneo.

UST fell at 6-4, just half-a-game ahead of the fifth-running University of the Philippines.

Earlier, Roselyn Doria had five service aces to finish with 18 points as National University avenged its first round loss to Adamson with a 28-26, 30-32, 25-21, 25-22 win.

The upstart Lady Bulldogs kept their slim Final Four hopes alive with a 3-7 card, while eliminating the Lady Falcons (1-8) in the process.      

In the men's division, JP Bugaoan and Jude Garcia combined for 35 points as FEU kept within distance of titleholder NU with a 25-15, 26-28, 25-22, 25-14 romp of UST for its eighth win in nine contests, while Chris Dumago had 12 hits and 12 digs as La Salle moved to solo fifth at 4-6 following a 25-21, 25-22, 29-27 sweep of University of the East.

The Lady Bulldogs' rookies continue to relish every moment, as Ivy Lacsina contributed 15 points, Princess Robles churned out solid numbers of 14 points, 15 digs and 11 receptions, while libero Jen Nierva collected 44 digs to go with 33 receptions.

"Happy kami dahil ang tagal naming hindi nagkaroon ng panalo since the second win namin, first round pa ‘yun. Masaya kasi noong nagkaroon kami ng changes sa system namin,” said NU coach Norman Miguel.

Making major adjustments to end a three-match slide, Miguel made rotational changes for Lacsina, Audrey Paran and Geli Luceño which eventually worked wonders for the Lady Bulldogs.

"Though may mga lapses pa rin, hoping sa mga next game namin, maging maayos ang galaw namin with that change. Masaya kami na nanalo kami ngayon. Sana mas maganda pa laruin namin sa next game,” said Miguel.

Bern Flora led Adamson with 16 points, including four service aces, and 21 digs, Chiara Permentilla had 14 hits and eight receptions while Eli Soyud chipped in 12 markers.

The Lady Falcons will miss the Final Four for the fifth consecutive season.