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Lady Tams clip Lady Eagles in pivotal win

MANILA, Philippines -- The Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws scored a crucial four-set win over the Ateneo Blue Eagles, 19-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-22, in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball Thursday at the Mall of Asia Arena to strengthen their bid for the Final Four.

Faida Bakanke and Chen Petallo led the Lady Tamaraws’ charge with 16 points apiece, with the former notching her career-high.

After dropping the first set, FEU regained their bearings and won the next two sets.

In the fourth set, Ateneo led by three, 19-16, late with a service ace by Zel Tsunashima.

FEU then unleashed six unanswered points capped by a drop by Jean Asis to take the upper hand, 22-19.

An error by Asis halted the run, 20-22, but back-to-back points by the Lady Tamaraws off a Chen Tagaod attack and an error pushed them to match point, 24-20.

Asis, then, committed a service error, and JLo delos Santos powered in a service ace that went down-the-line to keep them alive, 22-24.

However, an error by Ateneo ended the match, 25-22.

“Siyempre proud ako kasi yung pinag-aralan namin, although may lapses, pero natrabaho pa rin talaga yung ginawa namin nung break,” FEU head coach Manolo Refugia told reporters after the game.

Gerzel Petallo unleashed 15 markers for the Lady Tamaraws, while Tin Ubaldo also recorded five points and 26 excellent sets.

Lyann de Guzman had 15 for Ateneo, followed by Sobe Buena with 14 points.

The Lady Tamaraws’ win solidified the Final Four spots of both the 8-1 La Salle Lady Spikers and the 8-2 National University Lady Bulldogs. The two teams joined the league-leading University of Santo Tomas Golden Spikers in the semifinals.

FEU rose to 5-4, good for solo fourth, while Ateneo dropped to fifth place with a 3-7 card.

The Katipunan-based squad is currently ahead of University of the East and Adamson University, who are both holding 2-7 win-loss records.

The University of the Philippines are at the bottom of the standings with a 1-9 slate.