The National University Lady Bulldogs swept the defending champions, Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws, in straight sets, 25-23, 26-24, 25-19, to end their elimination round campaign on a high note in the Shakeys V-League Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Arena, Saturday afternoon.
Both teams played nip-and-tuck volleyball in the early parts of the first set before guest players Jovelyn Gonzaga and Honey Royse Tubino created some separation for an 8-5 lead for the Lady Tamaraws. NU countered with a furious assault behind sisters, Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Jaja Santiago, to tie it at 13 all. NU was able to remain on top 16-15, in the second technical timeout with the younger Santiago providing damage for the Lady Bulldogs. NU continued its offensive blitz behind Jorella Singh, keeping the Tamaraws at bay before Bernadeth Pons, Remy Palma and Jerrili Malabanan combined their efforts to tie it once more at 21 all. Gonzaga scored a corner tip to give FEU a slim 22-21 lead, until Myla Pablo and Aiko Urdas came strongly down the stretch to preserve the first set for NU.
The Lady Bulldogs quickly built an 8-2 lead in the second set behind Pablo, Singh, and Manabat. Gonzaga carried the load for the Lady Tamaraws, as she helped to put them back into the game at eight all. Afterwards, Toni Rose Basas, Pons, and Palma kept the Lady Tamaraws afloat throughout the set to counter the Lady Bulldogs offense, as both teams eventually settled on a tie at 22 all. Geneveve Casugod committed an attack error to hand the Lady Bulldogs a 23-22 advantage, with Manabat putting the Lady Bulldogs at first match point with a 24-22 lead. Manabat’s service error and a score by Pons for FEU tied the set at 24 all. Unfortunately for FEU, Casugod committed an attack error, and Pablo finished the set for NU to gave them a 2-0 set advantage against the Morayta-based squad.
In the third set the Lady Tamaraws tried to keep themselves on par with NU in the early goings with both teams tied at 9. However, the Lady Bulldogs pulled away from the defending Champions behind Manabat and Pablo’s offensive prowess.
After the game, NU Lady Bulldogs Coach Edjet Mabbayad was satisfied on the performance of the team against the Lady Tamaraws. Although, he finds that there are still things the team can improve on.
“Masaya naman, napakita at na execute ang laro nila, nagkaroon lang ng problema sa service error” said Mabbayad.
Manabat top scored the Lady Bulldogs with 15 points, 14 coming from attacks and three blocks, while Pablo and Santiago chipped 13 and 10 markers apiece.
Palma was the lone Tamaraw in double digit scoring with 10 points, while Gonzaga and Pons chipped seven points respectively.
The Lady Bulldogs and Lady Tamaraws both finished the elimination round at a 4-1 win loss record in Group A. They are now awaiting the final standings in the Group B teams to determine who they will face in the quarterfinals.
NU (3) – Manabat 15, Pablo 13, Santiago 10, Singh 9, Urdas 4, Diolan 1, Nabor 1, Perez 0, General (L)
FEU (0)– Palma 10, Gonzaga 7, Pons 7, Tubino 4, Basas 3, Guino-o 3, Negrito 2, Malabanan 2, Casugod 2, Hernanadez 0, Cayuna 0, Atienza (L), Duremdes(L)