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Tiebreaker Times


Belen, NU stay vigilant, prepared for full-strength La Salle

National University has been unstoppable so far in the second round of the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament.

The Lady Bulldogs have yet to drop a game in the second round after four matches, handing the University of Santo Tomas its first and only loss so far in the tournament.

They have also defeated the University of the Philippines, the University of the East, and Ateneo de Manila University.

But on Sunday, National U will face its archrival De La Salle University – the last team that dealt them a loss, a first-round-ending five-set defeat.

The Lady Spikers, however, have been reeling from the sidelining of Angel Canino, who still has no timetable for a return after incurring a right arm cut due to an accident unrelated to volleyball.

They were pushed to five sets by the University of the East before narrowly escaping.

For team captain Erin Pangilinan, NU needs all hands on deck in order to beat La Salle – something it failed to do in their last five encounters.

The Lady Spikers swept all four of their match-ups last season, including the Finals series.

UAAP-86-WOMENS-VOLLEYBALL-ADMU-vs-NU-Erin-Pangilinan Belen, NU stay vigilant, prepared for full-strength La Salle News NU UAAP Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“Isa rin na madadala namin ay pag nakikita namin yung isang teammate namin na sobrang fired up talaga, big factor sa amin na kailangan makisabay din kami,” said Pangilinan on Wednesday after beating Ateneo in straight sets.

“Not only one player inside the court but everyone has to contribute talaga.”

The Lady Bulldogs also need to play their hearts out to finally end their losing streak against the Lady Spikers, according to opposite spiker Alyssa Solomon.

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In their first-round clash, National U was just one set away from victory after securing the first and third frames. However, La Salle battled back in the fourth and carried that momentum to the deciding set for the win.

That was also the story of the Lady Spikers’ Game 2 title-clinching victory back in Season 85.

The Lady Bulldogs threatened to force a rubber match after winning the first two sets, but La Salle finished the story right there and then with a stirring comeback.

UAAP-86-WOMENS-VOLLEYBALL-ADMU-vs-NU-Alyssa-Solomon-2 Belen, NU stay vigilant, prepared for full-strength La Salle News NU UAAP Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“Siguro yung madadala namin sa Sunday is yung pusuan sa game, kasi importante yun na makikita mo yung teammates mo na lumalaban so parang ikaw ‘Lumalaban yung teammates ko, dapat ako rin’,” shared Solomon.

“Sa mga ganyang emotions, siguro papasok na diyan yung maturity. Kung paano mokokontrolin yung emotions mo, kung paano mo ikakalma yung sarili mo,” she added.

Although Canino’s availability remains a big question mark, Bella Belen and the rest of the Lady Bulldogs are expecting a La Salle squad that is ready to fight for every point,

After all, they – along with UST – remain tight as ever in the race for the two twice-to-beat incentives.

UST is at 10-1, La Salle is at 9-1, while NU is at 9-2.

“Sabi namin, i-expect namin na kumpleto ‘yung La Salle na talagang pati si Angel maglalaro. Hindi dapat kami mag-underestimate ng kalaban,” said Belen, who played against Ateneo despite some lower back pain.

“Kumbaga nandoon pa rin ‘yung respect. Nandoon man si Angel o wala, kailangan ‘yung performance namin, talagang maganda. Kung sino ba talaga ‘yung NU, kung paano kami mag-training, dapat ‘yun pa rin ‘yung dala namin.”

Written By

Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.

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