So far, the tenure of JP Yude at Adamson continues to be rosy.
The Lady Falcons remained perfect in every sense in tournament play under Yude after a 25-19, 25-21, 25-16 victory over Perpetual Help on Friday shoved Adamson into the Shakey’s Super League National Invitational tournament title match.
Things have been going the way of Yude and his charges that even their wish of drawing La Salle as a title series foe came true hours later, never mind if the Lady Spikers were on the brink of defeat several times against Santo Tomas.
“We need to prepare for the Finals. For me, it’s better to face La Salle so we can see the true capability (of my players),” said Yude. “La Salle is big and they’re also the defending champions of the UAAP.”
The Lady Spikers primed up for their best-of-three showdown with the Lady Falcons in a big way after taking all the best that University of Santo Tomas (UST) could offer before prevailing in a classic, 22-25, 25-18, 14-25, 26-24, 26-24, in the other semifinal game at San Juan Arena.
“We needed to show our character,” said assistant coach Noel Orcullo after the Lady Spikers came back from a set down and from 24-21 in the fourth set before pulling out the enthralling win.
While La Salle needed to scrape past the Golden Tigresses—the same team they conquered in the Final Four before winning the UAAP title over National U, the Lady Falcons have yet to drop a set here despite losing top gunner Tisha Tubu to the pro ranks two months ago.
“What we did was shut down their scorers. We knew that (Perpetual Help) came into the game with high confidence and it was a redemption game for us,” said Yude, who took over from Jerry Yee just a couple of months back.
The Lady Altas had beaten defending NCAA champion St. Benilde in the quarterfinals and just a couple of months ago, had turned back the Lady Falcons in five sets.
Shut down the scorers Adamson did as Mary Rhose Dapol, who exploded for 33 points in the win over the Lady Blazers, was held down to just nine while the Falcons drew twin-digit outputs from four players led by Ayesha Juegos with 29 points, in the win carved out in just 76 minutes.
The Tigresses looked like they had the victory in hand with that three-point lead in the fourth set, only for La Salle to dig very deep and necessitate the fifth by scoring the last five points capped by an Alleiah Malaluan kill.
With the score tied at 24 in the fifth, Malaluan, who finished with a team-high 25 points, converted another successful spike to bring the set to its 10th match point.
Before UST could respond and extend the decider, Thea Gagate blocked a Tigress attack to finish the intense matchup and seal the match with the Lady Falcons.
“It (the win) just showed that we really need to improve together as a team and form a connection with each other,” said Shevana Laput, who scored 23 points for La Salle. “It took ‘puso.’”
Gagate also scored 14 points built on three blocks.
Angeline Poyos’ 29-point paced Santo Tomas, with Regina Jurado chipping in 25.
La Salle played without the celebrated Angel Canino, while the Tigresses were without Eya Laure and Imee Hernandez, stalwarts who also turned pro after the UAAP season.
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