Win Or Go Home: FEU Stuns Top-Seeded NU To Keep Final Four Run Alive

The FEU Lady Tamaraws force a do-or-die match against top-seeded NU in the UAAP Season 86 volleyball Final Four opener. 

The FEU Lady Tamaraws orchestrated a stunner versus top-seeded NU Lady Bulldogs, 25-23, 25-17, 25-23 in the UAAP Season 86 Women’s Volleyball Tournament Final Four opener on  Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.

With the win, the fourth-seeded Lady Tamaraws forced a do-or-die match against National U, who had swept the second round of eliminations heading into Saturday’s game. 

Chen Tagaod led FEU with 12 markers built on 10 kills, a block, and a service ace. Jean Asis and Mitzi Panangin chipped in 11 and 10 points respectively, while breakout star Faida Bakanke scored eight, including the winning point. 

Setter Tin Ubaldo also came alive with 16 excellent sets for the Lady Tams. 

As a team, FEU also managed seven service aces, with Panangin and Tagaod accounting for four of those. 

After a fairly contested first set, FEU took advantage of a disorganized National U in the second set, even building a 24-15 advantage thanks to kills from Asis, Tagaod, Pangin, and Gerzel Petallo, and a variety of offensive errors from the Lady Bulldogs’ side. 

While back-to-back points from Bella Belen and Sheena Toring gave life to NU, a service ace from Bakanke sealed the deal for FEU. 

FEU continued to cruise in the third set, securing a 10-3 lead early on built off solid net defense by Bakanke and Panangin, alongside continued attacking errors from NU. 

The Lady Bulldogs, though, would proceed to outscore the Lady Tams, 18-12, which allowed them to inch as close as one point in the endgame, 21-22. 

That proved to be the last of NU’s rally, as a crosscourt kill from Bakanke, a service error from Solomon, and Bakanke’s winning ace sealed the final score. 

Talagang ginusto talaga namin [manalo]. Pumunta kami, nag-ensayo kami. Ginusto talaga nila. Naniwala sila na kaya nila, na kaya ng team, na kaya naming lahat na talunin talaga ‘yung NU,” FEU head coach Manolo Refugia said in the post-game press conference. 

Bella Belen was NU’s silver lining with 12 points, while the rest of NU’s big three in Aly Solomon and Vange Alinsug were limited to eight points each. 

The Lady Bulldogs also committed 25 errors throughout the contest, caused by service errors, and erroneous spikes. 

Banner Image courtesy of the UAAP Season 86 Media Team.

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