MANILA - Reigning champion De La Salle and second-running University of Santo Tomas forged a title showdown Saturday night after blasting separate enemies in the 72nd UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Arena in San Juan City.

Before 1,765 fans, the Lady Archers crushed the hopes of fourth seed Adamson to make a return trip to Finals this year.

After losing the first set, La Salle went straight to claim the finals berth as quarter scores showed 16-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-22.

Team captain Angela Benting tallied season-high 25 points but her efforts were put in vain after four Lady Archers foiled the upset bid of the Lady Falcons.

Jacqueline Alarca top scored for La Salle with 17 points and seven blocks while Charleen Cruz added 14 hits.

Alarca, last year’s Best Blocker, registered seven of La Salle’s total of 19 blocks – tying the overall blocks of the Lady Falcons.

Skipper Stephanie Mercado, the daughter of former Asia’s sprint queen Lydia de Vega, and Abigail Maraño also delivered the kills for the Lady Archers by contributing 12 points apiece.

Joanne Siy also posted 11 hits as the Taft-based tossers needed one hour and thirty minutes to seal the win for them.

In the other contest, La Salle’s only conqueror in the two-month eliminations swept Ateneo in just 64 minutes.

UST leaned on veterans Aiza Maizo and Angeli Tabaquero to display before 2,137 fans their championship form.

Maizo sizzled with 16 points and three blocks while Tabaquero added 15 hits, three blocks and two service aces en route to the Tigresses first finals appearance since 2006.

No Atenean managed to score in double digits with Fille Cainglet ending up only with nine markers.

The best-of-three women’s title showdown is set on Wednesday after Game 1 of men’s finale between UST and FEU. (Virgil

Lopez/Sunnex)