Slogging through problems on and off the court, the National University Lady Bulldogs managed to keep themselves in the running for a Final Four slot, sending the University of the East Lady Warriors to the 55th straight loss 25-15, 25-12 , 25-11 in the UAAP Women’s Volleyball Tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
UE looked ready for an upset, taking an 8-7 lead in the first set after back-to-back Judith Abil aces. NU then stepped on the gas pedal, claiming nine of the next of the next 10 points through the spiking and blocking of Jaja Santiago. Leading 16-9, NU watched as UE botched simple plays and let them take the first frame.
NU dominated the last two sets right from the first point. Their head coach, Roger Gorayeb, even managed to rotate through all three of his setters – Ivy Perez, Rica Diolan, and Asi Soliven – to give them experience for their following matches.
“Hindi ko pa talaga ma-gauge kung nakabalik na kami sa dati naming level,” said Gorayeb. “Alam naman natin ang estado ng UE sa liga na ‘to. Siguro kung maganda ang lalaruin namin against FEU.”
Jaja Santiago topped all scorers with 16 points off 13 attacks, a block, and two aces. Myla Pablo added 10 markers. NU totalled just 14 errors to UE’s 24.
Shaya Adorador led the Lady Warriors with 11 markers and was the only UE player in double-digits. UE was outclassed in every scoring skill.
NU looks to avenge a first round loss Wednesday, 4 p.m. at the PhilSports Arena when they take on the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws (5-4). The Lady Warriors look to end their embarrassing streak on Sunday, 2 p.m. also at the PhilSports Arena when they face the blistering University of the Philippines Lady Maroons (6-3).
NU (3) – Santiago 16, Pablo My. 10, Singh 8, Urdas 6, Doria 4, Perez 2, Pablo Ma. 2, Perez 1, Soliven 1, Abriam 1, Diolan 0, General (L), Valdez (L)
UE (0) – Adorador 11, Abil 4, Domingo 3, Baliton 2, Disquitado 2, Mendrez 1, Rodriguez 1, Alcayde 0, Bendong 0, Arado (L), Catindig (L)