Yet to lose a set. Yet to lose a game.
The Adamson University (AdU) Lady Falcons swept CESAFI champions University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJR) Lady Jaguars, 25-9, 25-11, 25-22 to advance to the semifinals of the Shakey’s Super League (SSL) National Invitationals at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan, Wednesday.
Team captain Lucille Almonte once again led the scoring with 12 points off eight attacks and four service aces for Adamson which remained unscathed in three games.
Greenhorn Red Bascon and Ishie Lalongisip were in their usual deadly form with eight points each, while Ayesha Juegos posted six markers.
The Lady Falcons went on a blitz in the opening set as they built an early 8-0 advantage and never turned back, not allowing the Lady Jaguars reach double figures in scoring.
In the second set, AdU leaned on another strong start with the lead ballooning to as much as 15 capped off by AA Adolfo’s ace. USJR found life late in the set, but the deficit was huge for the Lady Jaguars to overcome as the Lady Falcons took a commanding two sets to none advantage after Louneth Abangan’s attack went wide.
It was a different story in the third frame, however. The CESAFI champs kept in step with the San Marcelino-based squad and even gave them a scare in the final stretch of the game where they led by three, 22-19. AdU regrouped and found its rhythm just in time and ended the match on a 6-1 run.
In the last two sets, head coach JP Yude decided to insert the second stringers to give them confidence, so when the need arises in the next game, they will be ready to answer the call.
“For me nakita ko yung consistency ng mga bata lalo na yung first six. So pinasok ko na yung second six na alam ko nang may kumpiyansa, then again sa third set para may kumpiyansa rin sila in the coming game so that pagpapasok sila, they can fill in dun sa spot na kailangan nilang i-fill in para makatulong sa team,” Yude said.
No Lady Jaguar cracked double figures in scoring as Christle Tamayo posted nine points in six attacks and three aces, while ace Louneth Abangan and Alyssa Emboy were limited to just eight and six markers respectively.
On the flip side, Eloi Aljibe, Jen Villegas, Aliah Marce, and Antonette Adolfo all made contributions from the bench with five points apiece.
Yude lauded her team’s growth since the first game, but was quick to add that they are not satisfied of reaching the quarterfinals of the tournament.
“Nakita ko naman yung improvement from the first game until now but we are not contented pa sa ganun kasi susunod na yung semis, and then if it’s God’s will na makapasok sa finals,” the Negrense coach marveled.
Yude, though, warned that their next opponent will only get tougher so the Lady Falcons must watch film and work harder in practice heading into the final four.
“Matitindi na yung mga kalaban kaya kailangan na namin paghandaan and pag-aralan yung ginagalaw ng kalaban because we know that pinag-aaralan din kami so kumbaga kailangan pa namin maging consistent sa mga ginagawa namin and then higitan pa papasok nang semifinals,” he said.
Adamson will face the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta Lady Altas in the knockout semifinals on Friday, August 4, 4pm still at the same venue.