By ADRIAN STEWART CO
Adamson University Lady Falcons moved closer to Shakey’s Super League crown after a 22-25, 25-17, 17-25, 27-25, 16-14 upset over De La Salle University Lady Spikers in Game 1 of the finals at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan on Wednesday night, August 9.
Lucille Almonte led the way offensively with 24 points on 20 attacks, three service aces and a block, for the Lady Falcons, which took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three championship series.
Ayesha Juegos chipped in 13 points, Sharya Nicole Ancheta and Lorene Toring added 10 apiece, while Red Bascon ended with seven points, including back-to-back points that clinched the come-from-behind win for the Lady Falcons.
Down 2-1 after three sets and trailing 11-20 in the fourth set, the Lady Falcons mounted a huge fight back behind Almonte, Juegos and Toring to send the match to a deciding set.
Both teams engaged in a tight exchange early in the fifth frame, but the Lady Falcons got a huge lift from super-rookie Bascon, who broke the 14-all deadlock with back-to-back attacks.
“Lagi ko kasing sinasabi, may tiwala ako sa kanila. Kaya I always encourage them, especially nung fourth set, down kami. Sabi ko ‘di pa tapos ‘yung laban. ‘Di pa naman 25. Sabi ko isa-isahin natin. Tiyagain natin,” Lady Falcons head coach JP Yude said.
“Siguro, na-absorb nila ‘yun. Siguro nakita din nila sa akin, for me, ‘di pa talo. Ayusin niyo ‘yung mga mukha ninyo, ‘yung body language niyo. Hindi pa tapos ‘yung laban. Siguro nakita nila ‘yung eagerness na i-push sila,” the Negrense mentor added.
Shevana Laput rifled in a tournament-high of 30 points, Thea Gagate and Alleiah Malaluan added 14 points apiece, while Baby Jyne Soreño had 11 points for the Lady Spikers.
Meanwhile, University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses moved closer to a third place finish after a 25-15, 25-22, 25-15 win over University of Perpetual Help System Dalta Lady Altas in Game 1 of the best-of-three bronze medal series.
Regina Jurado top-scored for the Golden Tigresses with 19 points, rookie Angeline Poyos added 13 markers, while Xyza Gula and Mary Banagua each ended up with 10 points apiece./ASC, WDJ