MANILA, Philippines -- On the brink of defeat in another marathon match, Far Eastern University (FEU) leaned on its veterans to outlast University of Perpetual Help in five sets in the 2018 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Collegiate Conference on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Lady Tamaraws, losing finalists in the UAAP Season 80 finals, battled back from a 1-2 deficit with an emphatic sweep of the last two frames for a 25-15, 15-25, 22-25, 25-14, 15-6 triumph.
With the victory, FEU is now assured of at least a playoff for a spot in the semifinals even after dropping a five-setter to Adamson University last week.
Cel Domingo was once again the spark of FEU’s charge, coming through with 19 hits while Jeanette Villareal and Heather Guino-o combined for 21 points for the Lady Tamaraws. Jerrili Malabanan and rookie Lycha Ebon each scored nine points.
FEU coach George Pascua sent in a new set of players in the second and third sets, but had to field his starters back in after falling behind against the Lady Altas.
The Lady Tamaraws took four of the first five points in the decider, and stayed in control the whole way as hits from Ebon and Guino-o made it 10-5.
After Perpetual scored on a dump to make it a four-point game, FEU scored back-to-back points off their opponents’ errors. After another hit and yet another error by the Lady Altas, the Lady Tams finished off the game with a kill block.
With their fourth loss against just one victory, the Lady Altas are virtually eliminated from the semifinals race.
Cindy Imbo had 15 points, while Jenny Gaviola and Jowie Versoza had 13 and 10 points, respectively. However, the Lady Altas sorely missed the services of skipper Bianca Tripoli, who missed the game due to a strained hamstring.
In men’s play, National University demolished FEU, 25-18, 25-19, 25-22, to stretch its win run to five and regain a share of the lead with idle University of Santo Tomas.
The Bulldogs braved heavy downpour and flooded streets then dominated the Tams from start to finish behind another sterling game from Bryan Bagunas, who fired 22 points. Francis Saura and Kim Malabungan backed him up with a combined 15-hit output.
Peter Quiel had eight points while JP Bugaoan and Mark Calado scored seven markers apiece for the Tams, who fell to 2-3.
Earlier, De La Salle University ended a four-game skid with a 25-23, 25-18, 25-21 victory over San Beda University, which joined FEU at 2-3.