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La Salle denies Ateneo twice to beat advantage

De La Salle University snuffed Ateneo De Manila University’s hope for a twice-to-beat bonus with a 26-24, 25-17, 25-19 triumph in the last day of the elimination round of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament on Sunday, before a screaming crowd of 23, 243 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The back-to-back champions Lady Spikers employed relentless attacks as they cruised to their 12th win against two losses. La Salle’s victory allowed Far Eastern University (FEU) to clinch the No. 2 spot and the other twice-to-beat bonus.

“We are treating each game as if it is our last. We don’t want to get into the Final Four coming from a loss,” said Kim Dy, who scored 13 points, including 12 kills.

Desiree Cheng added 12 points while Grace Tiamzon had 11 points also for the Lady Spikers under the tutelage of coach Ramil De Jesus.

Ateneo’s win-loss record fell to 9-5 for No. 3.

In the first game, FEU defeated National University (NU), 25-21, 25-22, 16-25, 25-20, for its fourth straight victory. The Lady Tamaraws now have a chance for a playoff berth for the twice-to-beat incentive in the Final Four.

After a strong first and second set, FEU fumbled in the third but recovered in the fourth to end the elimination round with a 10-4 win-loss record behind the prowess of Bernadeth Pons and Celine Domingo.

Pons poured in 17 points, 16 on attacks, while Domingo added nine kills and three blocks to lead FEU.

“In any situation, we are ready. I just told my players to keep on fighting whatever the result of the game,” said FEU coach George Pascua as they await the result of the La Salle-Ateneo game.

The Lady Bulldogs went through the elimination round with 7-7 win-loss record.

Jaja Santiago posted 21 points highlighted by 15 attacks and six blocks to lead NU, who will face No. 1 La Salle in the Final Four round.

In the men’s class, the Bulldogs of coach Dante Alinsunurin banked on Bryan Banugas’ 19 points to beat defending champion Ateneo, 25-23, 21-25, 25-23, 25-19, and clinch the No. 1 spot in the Final Four and the twice-to-beat bonus.

Ateneo fell to No. 3 with 11-3 win-loss record.

FEU booted La Salle out of the Final Four with a 23-25, 25-16, 28-26, 25-20 win and also snatched the second twice-to-beat edge.

The Green Archers ended the season with 5-9 win-loss record.

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