The University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses rode the broad shoulders of star Eya Laure to outlast the De La Salle University Lady Archers in five sets, 26-24, 22-25, 25-27, 25-23, 15-12 in the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tournament on Thursday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Down by four points in the final set, Laure took over, scoring UST’s last four points in an 9-1 wind-up, including a block on La Salle’s Jyne Soreno that gave the Golden Tigresses the victory.
The 23-year-old Laure dropped monster numbers, finishing with a tournament-best 28 points off 23 attacks, three aces, and two blocks to go along with 20 excellent digs and 19 excellent receptions.
“Yung laro kasi very dynamic yung complexion ng laro talagang up and down just like a roller coaster ride,” said Golden Tigresses head coach Kungfu Reyes after the game that lasted for two hours and 50 minutes.
“Very inspiring yung laro kasi every time na kaharap mo si coach Ramil at yung squad niya nailalabas ng both teams yung quality ng laro. Sabi ko kung matalo kami doon, icocommend ko pa yung player namin kasi first time maka-encounter ng ganito kagandang laro yung transition ng game talagang everybody’s game,” he added.
A point away from losing set one, Camille Victoria tied the game at 24-all before Ysa Jimenez produced back-to-back kills to help the Golden Tigresses snatch the first set from the Lady Spikers. La Salle then almost fumbled a four-point advantage in the second set before eventually equalizing the match.
The Lady Spikers survived another deuce in the third frame with Jolina Dela Cruz and Gyne Sorreño scoring crucial hits, but Eya Laure made sure to send the game to a fifth set by scoring the last three points for UST in the fourth set.
Ysa Jimenez poured 13 points while Victoria and Kecelyn Galdones each had 11 points for the Golden Tigresses, who now went up to 3-1.
Mafe Galanza steered the offense with 31 excellent sets while Bernadette Pepito and Janel Delerio had 26 excellent digs and 24 excellent receptions.
Alleiah Malaluan’s 26-point performance went down the drain as La Salle dropped to a 2-2 in the league standings. She also had 22 excellent receptions and 18 excellent digs in the victory.
Gagate and Dela Cruz each had 12 points for the Lady Spikers while team captain Marrione Alba tossed 37 excellent sets.