Lady Falcons hold off Stingers, near finals

Games Tuesday
2 p.m. – AdU vs USLS
4 p.m. – NU vs ADMU
Adamson flashed its championship form and endgame brilliance as it swept University of St. La Salle-Bacolod, 25-19, 25-23, 25-22, Thursday to move a win away from clinching a second straight finals appearance in the Shakey’s V-League at The Arena in San Juan.
Guest player Nerissa Bautista combined with mainstay Angela Benting as they peppered USLS defense with crisp kills from set and quick plays that produced 29 attacks and carried the Lady Falcons to the 69-minute victory for the headstart in their best-of-three semifinal series.
The Falcons, chasing a second straight championship after ruling last year’s second conference, also bucked the Michelle Laborte’s mediocre outing and the presence of USLS’s new reinforcements in UST star Aiza Maizo and Jovelyn Gonzaga.
“Mic-Mic (Laborte) struggled in offense but played solid in defense,” said Adamson coach Dulce Pante, referring to her other guest player, who delivered four blocks after groping for form with three hits.
Aizo, a one-time MVP who helped lead UST to six titles in the league sponsored by Shakey’s Pizza and organized by Sports Vision, tossed in seven hits while Gonzaga, a beach volley standout, had six points as the duo struggled with the team’s set plays.
“(Setter) April (Hingpit) isn’t yet familiar with Aiza’s attacking game so we knew how to defend her,” said Pante.
With Maizo struggling, Kay Aplasca emerged as the lone player to turn in double-digit score for USLS with 12 points with Hingpit matching Maizo’s output.
With Maizo a new option in offense, Patty Orendain, the league’s top scorer, could only churn out a six-point performance, her lowest in the league backed by Accel and Mikasa.
The Lady Stingers actually wrested a 23-21 lead in the second frame on a service by Aplasca but the Falcons racked up for straight points, capped by Bautista’s kill.
The Bacolod-based squad again took the lead at 18-15 in the third courtesy of Mary Catherine Abayon but Bautista, Benting and Pau Soriano combined for seven points to shove Adamson to a 22-20 lead.
USLS scored a hit and Maizo came through with a block to tie it at 22 but Soriano delivered a hit to break the deadlock and Bautista finished off the Stingers with a spike after Aplasca’s attack went wide.PR

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