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Lady Bulldogs cruise past Lady Radicals; clinch playoffs berth

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The National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs experienced zero turbulance as it soared past the Polytechnic University of the Phiippines (PUP) Lady Radicals in straight sets, 25-15, 25-18, 25-15 in the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Fying V Arena.

The Lady Bulldogs did not miss the services of guest player, Dindin Manabat and fifth-year open hitter Myla Pablo, who just finished their stints with the National Team at the VTV Cup in Vietnam. Manabat’s younger sister, Jaja Santiago had a field day against PUP’s shorter and much slower blockers, netting 12 points on 11 for 20 spiking. Second-year open hitter, Jorelle Singh paced the NU offense with her 11 points while rookie Audrey Paran contributed a season-high nine points.

Opening the first set down 0-3, the ladies from Sampaloc immidiately retaliated with blistering 13-0 blitz, higlighted by five aces from rookie Roselyn Doria. The PUP service reception continued to fail with NU tallying nine aces in the opening set alone.

PUP’s ball control recovered in the following frame. With NU’s offense putting up a lax effort, the Lady Radicals were able to keep the set close and even force a tie at 17-all prompting an NU timeout. However, the Lady Bulldogs were again quick to adjust and surrendered just a single point for the rest of the set to close in on a sweep.

NU’s rookies and sophomores closed out the match in the third set. Paran scored six of her nine points in the set while sophomore opposite spiker, Roma Doromal contributed two points in the third set. Fifth-year setter, Ivy Perez played the entire third frame and was marvelous in setting up her younger teammates while also contributing three points, all off aces.

With the win, the Lady Bulldogs advanced their record to 3-1 and clinched a spot on the Top Eight phase of the tournament. The Lady Radiclas’ loss marked their fourth in as many games.

Joining NU in the Top 8 are fellow Group A members 2-2 UP Lady Maroons, 4-0 FEU Lady Tamaraws, and 3-1 Arellano Lady Chiefs while Group B’s 4-0 Ateneo Lady Eagles, 2-2 CSB Lady Blazers, and 3-1 UST Tigresses are also through to the next phase. The final spot in the Top 8 is still in contention with the DLSU-D Lady Patriots, SSC-R Lady Stags, and TIP Lady Engineers all stuck in a three-way tie with identical 1-3 records.

NU caps their first round against the FEU Lady Tamaraws, a rematch of last season’s Collegiate Conference Finals on August 8, Saturday. PUP closes its season on August 9, Sunday when it faces fellow winless team, UB Lady Brahmans.

Team Scores:

NU (3) – Santiago 12, Signh 11, Paran 9, Doria 7, Diolan 3, Perez 3, Urdas 3, Doromal 2, Nabor 1, Pablo Ma. 1, Valdez (L), General (L)

PUP (0) – Romo 10, Clemente 9, Quintana 4, Madrinico 4, Cada 1, Ilasco 1, Arano 0, Tenorio (L)

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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