National University-Sta. Elena Obed Mukaba and Gerard Diao flexed their muscles on PGJC-Navy in their straight sets win in the round-robin semifinals of the 2022 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference on Saturday.
The 6-foot-6 Congolese player unleashed 14 points spread through eight attacks, three blocks, and three aces, while Diao tied his conference-high at nine points.
“Pinag-aralan po talaga namin sila and everytime na matapos ‘yung training namin, naguusap usap kami kung paano namin tatalunin,” shared Retamar after their 25-21, 25-17, 26-24 win at the Paco Arena.
“Pinag-aralan namin so ‘yung weakness nila is ‘yung gitna so doon kami advantage kasi mas matatangkad ‘yung gitna namin.”
The very same tactic was used by the Nationals in their eliminations matchup with the Sealions, a five-setter win for NU-Sta. Elena.
There, Mukaba tallied his conference-high of 17 points including 10 blocks, while Diao had nine points, five of which came from the blocking department.
“Kinausap ko sila kanina na mas marami talagang bola ‘yung ibibigay ko sa kanila kapag maganda ‘yung pasa,” said Retamar.
With Cignal’s triumphant bounce-back over VNS-One Alicia, the Nationals already secured the first ticket in the best-of-three Finals.
They will now wait for the winner of the PGJC-Navy and HD Spikers clash on Tuesday, 5:30 pm.