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Lady Maroons seize V-League semis slot

University of the Philippines broke away from a tight first set duel with a strong windup then bounced back from a close second set defeat with a pair of lopsided victories to trounce San Sebastian, 25-17, 23-25, 25-5, 25-18, yesterday and clinch the third semifinal berth in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Collegiate Conference at The Arena in San Juan.

Kathy Bersola turned in a solid 20-hit game, including 10 kills on one-step attacks and an impressive eight-block game to lead the Lady Maroons to a dream Final Four stint.

UP, which toughened up for this mid-season tournament of the league sponsored by Shakey’s by competing in the Open Conference, thus closed out it quarters stint with a 3-2 card, joining early semifinalists National U and Far Eastern U.

San Sebastian wound up with a 2-3 slate although the Lady Stags can still force a playoff for the last semis seat with an FEU victory over Ateneo in a match being played at presstime.

But should the Lady Eagles prevail, the Loyola-based school will complete the Final Four which fires off Saturday.

UP went on a scoring binge to break from a 12-all count in the opening frame to score the eight-point then bounced back from a second set defeat with a smashing triumph in the third that saw the Lady Maroons hold the Lady Stags to just five hits.

SSC failed to recover from the third set slump.

“We controlled the net and our floor defense held,” said UP mentor Jerry Yee.

Meanwhile, La Salle outpointed Far Eastern U in a thrilling fifth set duel, hacking out a 20-25, 25-23, 26-24, 21-25, 15-8 victory to clinch the coveted semifinal berth in the Spikers Turf Season 2 Collegiate Conference.

Cris Dumago fired 24 points while Arjay Onia and Mike Frey combined for 26 hits to make up for Raymark Woo’s eight-point output as the Archers finished the single round elims with a 4-1 card in Group A to join the National U Bulldogs in the Final Four.

Earlier, University of Santo Tomas subdued Emilio Aguinaldo College, 25-20, 25-12, 29-27, for a 4-1 slate to finish second behind defending champion Ateneo in Group B.