By NIKOLE JAVIER
Angel Canino, Thea Gagate and Jolina dela Cruz conspired to help La Salle hold off Adamson in a thrilling 5 sets, 25-17, 25-27, 23-25, 25-23, 15-9, and secure a twice-to-beat incentive in the second round of the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament Wednesday, April 19, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Lady Spikers improved their record to 11-1 in the standings after turning back the Lady Falcons in the extended affair to solidify their hold of the No. 1 spot.
With the win, La Salle is now assured of a top two finish even if they drop their last two assignments.
Super rookie Canino fired a new career-best 28 points on 22 attacks, five blocks and a service ace laced by 19 excellent receptions.
Middle blocker Gagate, for her part, delivered a similar career-high after finishing with 22 points off 19 attacks and three blocks, while veteran spiker dela Cruz put up a solid 21-point outing.
After breezing past Adamson in the opening set, La Salle found itself trailing by a set, 2-1, heading into the fourth.
The Lady Spikers slowly regained their rhythm and built a comfortable 16-10 cushion in the fourth frame, but encountered some resistance from the Lady Falcons before equalizing the match with two-set wins apiece.
The Lady Spikers started hot in the deciding set, racing to a 6-2 lead before Canino hammered down back-to-back kills to give the Lady Spikers an 11-5 advantage.
Adamson slid 8-4 in the standings behind top two-seeking reigning champion National University and University of Santo Tomas.
Far Eastern University needed an extra set to beat the now-eliminated Ateneo, 25-21, 25-11, 22-25, 25-21, in the first game.
The Lady Tamaraws held back the Blue Eagles from staging a comeback to stay in the running for the Final Four race after boosting their record to 6-6 record.