V-League: Lastimosa, Tunay return to spark UST win over depleted Ateneo
MANILA, Philippines - Pam Lastimosa and Mela Tunay came back just in the nick of time.
University of Santo Tomas served strong noticed of its title aspirations by defeating defending UAAP titlist Ateneo De Manila University in straight-set fashion, 25-19, 25-22, 25-19 in the quarterfinals of the Shakey’s V-League Season 11 First Conference on Sunday, May 4 before a wild and roaring crowd at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
Guest player EJ Laure delivered the goods for the Gold and Black of España as the daughter of former PBA player Eddie Laure came away with a game-high 16 points on 15 spikes but it was skipper Lastimosa and Tunay, both fresh from playing in a beach volleyball tournament in Boracay, who provided the inspiration for the team to pull off the win.
“Nabuhayan ang team at tumaas ‘yung morale nila ‘nung dumating ‘yung dalawa
(Lastimosa and Tunay),” quipped Golden Tigresses head coach Odjie Mamon, whose wards dimmed the Lady Eagles’ chances of advancing to the semifinals.
(The team became alive and their morale went high when the two came back.)
“Parang ayaw ng team na maglaro na kulang sila, no excuses daw,” added Mamon.
(The team didn’t want to play with an incomplete line-up. There are no excuses, according to them.)
The power-hitting Tunay started UST’s onslaught as she led the team’s attack in the first set which the Golden Tigresses won, 25-19 before giving the coup de grace to her teammates for the rest of the match.
The Lady Eagles, who played sans ace libero Denden Lazaro, Marge Tejada and Ella De Jesus owning to various injuries, managed to stay within the match in the second frame behind Alyssa Valdez and Michelle Morente.
But UST dropped a telling 5-2 binge that shattered a 20-20 standoff to close the set after Jhoana Maraguinot’s attack was foiled by the Golden Tigresses’ vaunted defense.
UST zoomed to a comfortable 10-1 lead in the third set on Laure’s kill and had multiple chances of ending the match at 24-15 after a quick attack from towering Jessey De Leon but the Lady Eagles scored four straight points to make the match interesting.
But Lady Luck did not smile on Ateneo.
Laure put the proverbial nail in the Lady Eagles’ coffin’ with a hit that sent the crowd in frenzy. Marivic Meneses also had 10 markers on five blocks for the Golden Tigresses while Tunay wounded up with 7 hits for UST who improved to 2-0 in the team standings.
The usually-explosive Valdez was held to a paltry 11-point output no thanks to UST’s solid 44 points off the blocks while Morente also had 11 markers.
UST- Laure 16, Lastimosa 13, Meneses 10, De Leon 8, Tunay 7, Dimaculangan 3, Lantin 2
Ateneo- Valdez 11, Morente 11, Maraguinot 5, Ahomiro 5, Gequillana 4, Patnongon 4, Morado 3
By set: 25-19, 25-22, 25-19