The National University Lady Bulldogs kept up their unprecedented pace, roaring to their fifth straight win in as many matches after slipping past the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses, 25-19, 14-25, 25-19, 28-26, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Both squads had their share of struggles throughout the match. UST had an especially generous hand with errors that led to NU’s first two set wins, while the Tigresses capitalized on NU’s flat-footed defense and reception in the second frame.
UST had the inside track to extending the match to a decider, leading the fourth set, 14-8. The Lady Bulldogs, however, showed their mettle and slowly crept back, eventually forcing a 15-all tie.
What followed was an intense back-and-forth, highlighted by NU’s Jaja Santiago and UST Sisi Rondina exchanging strong hits in a prolonged deuce. In the end, UST’s errors did them in. Jaja Santiago scored off an ace to force a 26-all deadlock, which UST’s Jinggay Bangad followed with an attack error to give NU advantage. In true virtuoso form, Rondina tried to give UST the equalizer, but ran into a determined double-block, signalling the end for the Tigresses.
“Siguro, nag-usap lang kami sa team na kaya pa namin. Kahit lamang ‘yung kalaban, hindi kami basta-basta susuko,” said NU team captain Jaja Santiago who scored 19 points.
“Tiwala lang sa isa’t isa ang kailangan namin. Tiwala lang sa pinapagawa ng coaches sa amin. Kanina kasi sumasabay kami sa pace ng kalaban. Noong nag-settle down na kami saka namin nakuha ‘yung momentum,” he added.
Aiko Urdas added 10 markers. The Lady Bulldogs benifitted highly from UST’s 35 errors.
Rondina finished with 25 points off a 22-for-56 spiking clip. Carla Sandoval managed 12 markers.
Both squads have their next assignments on Wedneaday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The Lady Bulldogs (5-0) take on the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws (3-2) while UST (2-3) face the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons (1-4).
NU (3) – Santiago 19, Urdas 10, Doria 9, Paran 9, Sato 5, Nabor 4, Singh 1, Valdez (L)
UST (1) – Rondina 25, Sandoval 12, Francisco 8, Pacres 7, Palec 3, Bangad 2, Bicar 2, Teope 1, Camaligan 0, Viray 0, Pollentes (L)