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National U escapes reception woes, UE for sixth win


Despite the erratic performances from their liberos and backline, the National University Lady Bulldogs still had enough firepower to outlast the University of the East Lady Warriors, 25-15, 25-21, 22-25, 25-21, to remain in the hunt for a Final Four spot, Sunday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Bulldogs started slow but powered through the late stretches of the first set to take a 1-0 lead. NU’s miscues took their toll in the second set, with the Lady Warriors grabbing a 16-8 lead. However, NU mustered a late comeback, slowly plucking away at UE’s lead to take a 23-20 lead and the set.

NU seemed to have a straight-sets win in hand, leading the third set 8-3. But aces then began to pour in for the Lady Warriors, with Shaya Adorador, Roselle Baliton, and Glayssa Bendong each providing two. With UE ahead 23-17, the Lady Bulldogs tried a last ditch run, taking the next four points despite not fielding a libero. But the Lady Warriors had a finishing push in the wait, with Baliton and Judith Abil taking the last two points.

Still without a libero, the Lady Bulldogs fared better in the fourth set. Serving well, the Lady Bulldogs kept UE at bay, setting up Jaja Santiago’s three-point, match-finishing flourish.

“Mas maganda pa ang nilaro namin noong walang libero. Sabi ko nga sa kanila [libero] hindi puwedeng sa ilang punto lang kayo tutulong, kailangan lahat ng punto makatulong kayo lagi sa depensa,” said NU head coach Roger Gorayeb.

Although the Lady Bulldogs out-blocked UE, the second best blocking team in the league, 12-1, the Lady Warriors equalized with a 13-6 service ace tally. NU also surrendered 37 errors but made up for it with 52 attack points to UE’s 31.

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National Team stalwart Santiago poured in a game-high 23 on 20-for-26 attacking points, while Jorelle Singh added 17.

NU improve to 6-4 and faces league-leading Ateneo de Manila University (9-1) on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Shaya Adorador led the Lady Warriors with 16 points, while Judith Abil added 10.

UE remains at seventh with a 1-9 slate. They face the De La Salle University Lady Spikers (7-2) on Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

NU (3) – Santiago 23, Singh 17, Sato 10, Nabor 8, Urdas 8, Doromal 8, Paran 1, Doria 0, Valdez (L), Chavez (L)

UE (1) – Adorador 16, Abil 10, Baliton 5, Mendrez 4, Rodriguez 3, Alcayde 2, Catindig 2, Gabrada 2, Bendong 1, Dacaymat 0, Arado (L)

Written By

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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