Daquis lifts FEU to first-ever V-League finals appearance
MANILA, Philippines - Aiming to make their debut in the last dance, Far Eastern University leaned on a familiar face in Rachelle Ann Daquis as she towed the Lady Tamaraws over Adamson University, 25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 25-22, in the Shakey's V-League Season 11 First Conference, Thursday, May 15, at the Filoil Flying-V Arena in San Juan City.
The FEU alum starred when her team needed her most as she scattered 26 points to help the Morayta side claim the right to face National University in the Finals.
With both squads gunning for the same prize, it was the Lady Tamaraws who emerged on top as they displayed nerves of steel to trump the Lady Falcons in a hard-fought four-setter affair.
Despite the tight scoreline, FEU put on a masterful showing this afternoon as they outwit Adamson in blocking, 12-6, and serving, 9-3 – while also taking care of the ball better, committing just 18 miscues compared to the Lady Falcons' 24 – to run away with their first-ever ticket to the finals of the V-League.
After trailing the Lady Tams by 10 in the opening frame, Shiela Pineda sparked Adamson to life as they fought their way back into the game, cutting FEU's lead to just one, 23-22, but Daquis showed enough composure as she secured the set for coach Shaq Delos Santos with a couple of unanswered points in that crucial stretch.
AdU then blew a 6-point cushion in the second as they let FEU flex their muscles on both ends of the court that put the Lady Tams on top by two frames.
Refusing to wave the white flag just yet, Adamson then put up a gallant stand in the third with Pineda once again taking charge, pulling off ice-cold plays and steady scoring, en route to a 25-22 third canto win.
Only one set away from entering the finals, FEU completed their series comeback as Bernadeth Pons joined the fray and powered the Lady Tamaraws to a 25-22 win to take the game amid Adamson's gutsy stand.
Pons provided Daquis with ample support in the offensive end as she finished with 15 markers while Mary Palma and Jovelyn Gonzaga contributed 12 points apiece.
Adamson, on the other hand, relied on their Thai import Patcharee Sangmuang who tallied in 17 while Pineda added 16 of her own.
FEU and Adamson each had 58 attacks but the Lady Tams' 55 digs, highlighted by Christine Agno's 18, proved to be the difference in a match that could have swung in either direction. Yna Papa also had 43 excellent sets that anchored their team's defense all-game long.
FEU will meet the Lady Bulldogs on Sunday, May 18, in the Finals right after the Adamson-UST tiff for third place in San Juan Arena.
FEU - Daquis 26, Pons 15, Palma 12, Gonzaga 12, Casugod 10, Papa 2, Simborio 1, Dionela 1
Adamson - Sangmuang 17, Pineda 16, Paat 13, Soriano 10, Galanza 4, Villanueva 3, Macatuno 2
By set: 25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 25-22