by Jonas Terrado
Games Saturday (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
12 noon – NU vs FEU (Men’s)
4 p.m. – Ateneo vs UST (Women’s)
Ateneo arranged a title showdown with University of Santo Tomas after topping Far Eastern University, 25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 25-14, in the rubber match of their UAAP women’s volleyball Final Four at The Arena in San Juan.
Kat Tolentino sizzled for 19 points as the Lady Eagles redeemed themselves from a 10-25, 25-23, 25-22, 12-25, 15-8 loss to the Lady Tamaraws last Saturday and advance to their seventh finals appearance in eight seasons.
The Lady Eagles, who also avenged last season’s Final Four defeat to the same team, will face the Tigresses in a best-of-three finals set Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Coach Oliver Almadro successfully steered Ateneo to the finals in his first season since succeeding Thai mentor Tai Bundit.
UST, which the finished the elims at No. 2, earned the first finals berth after ending the three-year title reign of La Salle last Sunday.
Ateneo swept their two elimination round meetings with UST but the latter is on a high after winning its final five games, including the Final Four.
Maddie Madayag and Ponggay Gaston added 12 points apiece as Ateneo prevailed in the match that lasted almost two hours.
Jerrili Malabanan and Heather Guino-O scored 18 and 12 points in their final collegiate games as FEU fell short of a return trip to the finals.