Hold your horses, folks!!! But the FEU Lady Tams have just made the UAAP Women’s Volleyball Season a tad more interesting…
Just as close to everyone had been getting ready for another gigantic Ateneo – La Salle clash in the league’s showcase volleybelle wars, the late-surging FEU Lady Tamaraws shellacked the La Salle Lady Spikers with a gut-wrenching 15-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-21, 16-14 come-from-behind shocker; forcing a winner-take-all match-up for the right to move to the Finals against the defending champs Ateneo Lady Eagles.
Bernadeth Pons, FEU’s brutal banger, announced to all and sundry her clear intentions to challenge Ateneo’s venerable Alyssa Valdez. Bernie took control of the game in the pivotal third set, collecting 22 solid net screamers, some of them reminiscent of Baldo’s booming 2nd-line sneak attacks. It is just a matter of time, folks, before this young lady achieves full stardom in the game of booms and caroms.
La Salle’s Lady Spikers were comfortably ahead 2 sets to nil, and 17-12 in the 3rd set, when the Lady Tams unveiled a witchcraft similar to the Tai Bundit potion in Ateneo. Inspired no end by their cool and confident coach, Shaq De Los Santos, the Lady Tams played loose, played happy, and banged in winner after winner like a team possessed. And as the FEU crowd became louder and more boisterous as the game teetered and tottered, La Salle’s guns started to stammer, shooting duds and misfires where they used to be laser-sharp.
It was a character win for the lightly-regarded Lady Tams. Not given much of a chance against La Salle’s vaunted offensive line, the Lady Tams would squeeze out every little advantage, while making La Salle bleed for every single point they took. Bernie was ably supported by their mind game-playing team captain, Remy Palma, their silently-effective opposite hitter, Toni Rose Basas, and the steady setter, Giselle Sy.
But La Salle’s Lady Spikers aren’t waving the white flag either. They have too much power and pride to concede the right to play in the UAAP finals. Led by veterans Ara Galang and Mika Reyes, backstopped by hitters Kim Dy and Majoy Baron, plus league-leading setter Kim Fajardo, La Salle is loaded from the 1st team to the last. And they will certainly not give up without a fight.
And so it is that the volleybelle titular match will have to wait awhile, as the girls in green and white match booms and bangs with the ladies in green and gold. Expect a sellout crowd at the MOA tomorrow, Wednesday April 20. Expect both schools to bring in everyone including the mothers-in-law. Expect the cheers, the jeers, the noise, the excitement.
This ain’t the Finals yet, folks, but if the 5-set nail-biter of an elimination match is any indication, this will be another one of those unforgettable experiences you will hate to miss.
Which marquee match-up would you come to watch? Will it be the alluring Alyssa against the unfazed Ara? Or will you go for a booming Baldo versus a banging Bernie? Which middle face-off would you want to see? Would you go for the steady Mika Reyes, or the smiling Remy Palma, against the solid Amy Ahomiro? And whose sets and dinks would you marvel at? Shall we go for the charismatic Kim Fajardo – or the diminutive but equally deadly Giselle Sy – to match wits against the cerebral Jia Morada?
The match-ups are cool. The line-ups are healthy. Bring out the beer. It’s time to go party.
Come one, come all!!!. And don’t forget the popcorn.
For more women’s volleyball action, read:
(Pics courtesy of spin.ph, abs-cbn.com, tiebreakertimes.com, fox news)