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NU shuts down Lady Maroons’ season



After taking five sets in the first round to dispatch the Lady Maroons, the National U Lady Bulldogs needed only three sets to end UP’s season, 25-21, 25-16, 25-15, at the San Juan Arena.

The Lady Bulldogs once again followed coach Roger Gorayeb’s philosophy of feeding the ball to their best attacker and tallest player in the league, Jaja Santiago, as she paced NU with 17 points off a 46% attacking clip and four blocks. Jaja’s presence at the net allowed NU to take a 36-21 spikes advantage while also netting more block kills at nine to UP’s six points.

NU’s floor defense has also improved leaps and bounds since Coach Gorayeb took over, as they were able to stifle UP’s veterans Nicole Tiamzon and Angeli Araneta, who scored a combined 12 points.

Araneta, who played in her final UAAP game, managed only four points after a string of games where she was unstoppable at the net. Marian Buitre, who replaced injured middle blocker Kathy Bersola, pitched in eight points for the Lady Maroons.

Despite the loss and another season of missing Final Four action, the Lady Maroons have once again improved their record under Gerry Yee after tallying only three wins last season. Things can only go up from here for the Lady Maroons who will lose Araneta, but will have a healthy Kathy Bersola next season.

NU now awaits the winner of Wednesday’s do-or-die tilt between the Lady Tams and the UST Tigresses at the Mall of Asia Arena at 4 P.M. The winner of the match will face NU at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday.

Also on Wednesday, the Men’s Final Four will kick off at 10 a.m. with the second-seeded UST Tigers facing the defending champs, NU Bulldogs while the top-seeded Ateneo Eagles will square-off with the Adamson Falcons at 2 p.m.

The scores:

NU – Santiago 17, Pablo 12, Singh 10, Dadang 3, Mandapat 3, Doria 1, Soliven 1, Doromal 1, Pablo Ma. 0, Perez 0, General (L), Valdez (L)

UP – Tiamzon 8, Buitre 8, Ilustre 4, Araneta 4, Alinas 4, Lai 2, Ortiz 0, Ong 0, Mangulabnan 0, Estranero (L)


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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