2 p.m. – National University vs SSC
4 p.m. – UST vs Perpetual
Perpetual Help rallied from four points down in the fifth set then foiled University of St. La Salle-Bacolod’s last-ditch fightback to carve out a 26-24, 19-25, 24-26, 28-26, 15-12 squeaker for a spot in the Final Four of the Shakey’s V-League Presented by Smart at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Altas pounced on USLS’ service error to shatter the 12-all count in the decider then Shyrra Cabriana delivered a service ace before Thai import Pornpimol Kunbang unleashed a power-packed kill that pierced through the Lady Stingers’ defense to end the thrilling two-hour, eight-minute match before a big Sunday crowd.
The victory was the reigning NCAA champions’ fourth against one loss as they joined the Ateneo Lady Eagles and the UST Tigresses in the semis of the league’s season-opening conference sponsored by Shakey’s Pizza.
Ateneo lorded it over the field with a 6-0 mark while UST, the former six-time champion making its return from a two-year hiatus, totes a 4-0 slate.
San Sebastian is seeking to nail the last semis berth in the tournament backed by Mikasa and Accel against Far Eastern U at presstime.
Meanwhile, the Perpetual-USLS match and the SSC-FEU duel will be aired starting at 7 p.m. Monday on AKTV on IBC-13, according to the organizing Sports Vision.
It was a sorry, costly setback for the Bacolod-based squad, which had looked forward to a big win after taking a 2-1 set lead and surging to 8-4 in the fifth set.
But the Lady Altas had other things in mind.
After a court switch midway through the decider, Perpetual cashed in on USLS miscues and poor reception, rattling off seven straight points to wrest an 11-8 lead on a Cabriano drop shot.
The Lady Altas stretched it to 12-8 before the Lady Stingers came out of the huddle to win the next four points, including a back-row spike by Chairmaine Moralde and a block by Royce Quijano and Patty Orendain, to force another deadlock.
But Moralde’s serve proved wide in the ensuing USLS offense and the Lady Stingers failed to return Cabriana’s serve before Kunbang came away with that attack to put an end to one of the most hotly-disputed games in the tournament.
Kunbang finished with 29 hits, highlighted by 23 kills and five blocks, while Sandra delos Santos added 17 and Norie Diaz and April Sartin tossed in 16 points apiece for the Lady Altas.
Jovelyn Gonzaga unloaded 20 attacks with the comely USLS guest player spiking her solid game with five blocks while Orendain and Sheryl Denila churned out a pair of 21-hit outputs for the Lady Stingers, who bowed out with a 2-5 slate.
In the second game, San Sebastian took the first seven points in the fifth set and went on to finish off Far Eastern U, 25-19, 19-25, 25-16, 23-25, 15-5, and move within a win from completing the semis cast.
Jeng Bualee took charge in the decider which the Lady Stags dominated with their power game as SSC zeroed in on the fourth and last Final Four berth with a 3-2 card while ousting the Lady Tams, who fell to 1-5, from the semis race.
Bualee finished with a whopping 35-kill performance for a 37-point output.
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