HEATHER Guino-o sparkled in the fifth set as Far Eastern University got the needed morale-boosting win heading into the Final Four with a shock 25-22, 13-25, 15-25, 27-25, 15-8 win over three-time defending champion La Salle last night in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Stepping up big time, Guino-o produced the match’s biggest kills as the Lady Tamaraws put the fight out of the Lady Spikers with a 13-6 advantage.
FEU, which has already assured of the No. 4 seed in the Final Four, ended the eliminations with a 9-5 card.
With the loss, La Salle fell in a tie with University of Santo Tomas in second place at 9-5.
Instead of getting a much-needed rest, the Lady Spikers will duke it out with the Tigresses in a playoff for the remaining twice-to-beat slot in the Final Four at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the San Juan arena.
Guino-o, stepping up in the absence of an injured Lycha Ebon, came through with 24 points, including three service aces for the Lady Tamaraws.
Earlier, Ateneo secured the top ranking in the Final Four following a 25-20, 27-25, 25-11 romp of University of the East,
The Lady Eagles overcame a tough Lady Warriors in the second set to end the eliminations with a 12-2 card.
Armed with a twice-to-beat advantage, Ateneo forged a third straight Final Four showdown with FEU this weekend.
The two squads split their two previous semifinals matchups, with the Lady Tamaraws eliminating the Lady Eagles last year that ended a streak of six consecutive Finals appearances.
”Siyempre ito na yung simula ng totoong labanan, real UAAP, yung playoffs,” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro.
The Lady Eagles’ net defense went into full gear, as Maddie Madayag and Bea de Leon each had three blocks.
Kat Tolentino scored 11 points, including two blocks and collected 10 digs to lead Ateneo’s charge.
The Lady Eagles, whose two losses came from the Lady Spikers, are raring to go to return from where they usually belong.
In the men’s division, Ateneo clinched the No. 3 seed in the Final Four and avoided a showdown with titleholder National University with a 25-23, 30-28, 25-19. The Falcons dropped to fourth spot and will take on the top-ranked Bulldogs in the semifinals this weekend.
NU avenged its first round loss to FEU with a masterful 25-18 to end its elimination round campaign with 13 straight wins.
Meanne Mendrez led the Lady Warriors with 12 hits, Judith Abil had 11 points and 13 receptions in her final game, while libero Kath Arado capped her stint with 28-dig, 12-reception performance.
UE finished the season with a 3-11 card. (Theodore P. Jurado)