University of Santo Tomas survived a tough National U side and pulled off a 25-20, 25-21, 25-22 victory to nail the No. 2 spot in the Final Four in the ninth Shakey’s V-League Presented by SMART at The Arena in San Juan.
Thai import Kaensing Utaiwan rammed in 12 kills, Maruja Banaticla came through with 11 attacks while Maika Ortiz and Mary Jean Balse chipped in 10 points apiece to help power the Tigresses to the victory.
UST closed out with a 6-1 slate for No. 2 behind unbeaten defending champion Ateneo, which finished the quarters with a 7-0 card in the event sponsored by Shakey’s Pizza.
The Tigresses will play the San Sebastian Lady Stags, who survived a five-set thriller against Perpetual Help later in the day to take the third spot, while the Lady Altas battle the top-seeded Lady Eagles in a pair of best-of-three series with the winners clashing for the crown in another best-of-three affair.
San Sebastian banked on Thai import Jeng Bualee as they pulled off a 25-14, 25-18, 12-25, 16-25, 15-11 victory over Perpetual.
UST coach Odjie Mamon used a combination of bench players for the needed exposure although it took them some time to finish off the Lady Bulldogs in three.
“It’s more of giving playing time to others for exposure,” said Mamon, whose wards committed a total of 26 errors.
But the Tigresses’ net defense proved tough, neutralizing Din-din Santiago, who had only six kills and three blocks and failed to churn out a double-digit output.
Santiago and Maricar Nepomuceno had nine points apiece for the Lady Bulldogs (1-6), who made eight blocks but only had 22 excellent digs out of 102 attempts.
UST had nine service aces against NU’s three but just had a lone block courtesy of Ortiz.
Earlier, Adamson U trampled Far Eastern U, 25-21, 25-12, 25-9, to wind up with a 2-5 mark in the event backed by Accel and Mikasa.
Guest player Nerissa Bautista fired 18 kills for 20 points while Pau Soriano hit nine kills and finished with 11 markers for the Lady Falcons.
FEU and NU ended up with identical 1-6 cards.
Shiela Pineda had eight points and Faye Guevarra and Angelica Quinlog scored six apiece for AdU while FEU drew nine kills from Thai Eve Sanorseang and six points from Marie Basas.