MANILA, Philippines — Faida Bakanke and Gerzel Petallo took matters into their own hands in the fifth set to clinch the bronze medal for Far Eastern University with a 25-18, 16-25, 25-15, 21-25, 15-7 victory over Adamson in Game 2 in the Shakey’s Super League (SSL) Pre-Season Championship Season 2 on Saturday at Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
The Lady Tamaraws were forced to another five-setter for the second straight time and went down 1-4 in the decider but Petallo and Bakanke refused to lose and ignited a 14-3 run to stave off the Lady Falcons in two hours and 16 minutes.
The Congolese rookie Bakanke led the charge with 16 points including two blocks and two aces. Petallo scored four off her 15 points in the fifth, while Chenie Tagged also stepped up with 12 points.
“We don’t want to lose. We have the determination and we are confident with our teammates and coaches that’s why we won,” said Bakanke.
FEU claimed Game 1, 25-20, 25-19, 12-25, 14-25, 15-12, less than 24 hours ago.
“Another five sets but a win is a win. It was a good preseason for us [with this bronze medal], heading to the UAAP. The capabilities of our team were tested in this league,” said FEU coach Manolo Refugia in Filipino. “I commend our team because although we were down, we were able to adjust and show our composure. It’s a good sign for the team.”
The Lady Tamaraws have been on a roll this preseason. They settled for silver in the V-League before earning this bronze in the SSL ahead of the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament next year.
“We’re so happy because we worked hard and sacrificed for this. We know that we deserve this bronze,” said Petallo in Filipino. “This is a big achievement for us because last year we didn’t reach the semis and even the quarterfinals. Our team has improved a lot because we were able to show that we can keep up with the contenders and win and we still have a chance to be better.”
Adamson failed to medal this time after winning the bronze last year and silver in the National Invitationals.
Red Bascon led the Lady Falcons with 12 points, as Lucille Almonte had 10 points including two aces.