After absorbing their first loss of Season 80, the National University Lady Bulldogs maintained their spot atop the standings after overwhelming the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons, 25-23, 25-23, 25-17, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The Lady Bulldogs, who dropped in four sets against Far Eastern U last Wednesday, struggled early but regained theit form towards the end of the match. NU let a 24-20 lead slip in the first set before allowing the Lady Maroons to come back from a 13-9 deficit to make the second set close.
On both occasions, the Lady Bulldogs escaped a fervid UP comeback thanks the Lady Maroons’ errors. The third set, however, so no such rally from the Katipunan-based squad as NU took a 22-15 cushion and never looked back.
Jaja Santiago topped the Lady Bulldogs with 17 points while Fil-Japanese middle blocker Risa Sato added 10 markers.
NU head coach Babes Castillo emphasized the character his team displayed after sustaining their loss.
“After we lost, move on right away ang aming attitude. Itong game sa UP, before we started, sabi namin na this has to be a statement game,” Castillo thought.
Tots Carlos led the Lady Maroons with 15 points while her batchmate Isa Molde added 11 markers.
NU (6-1) finishes the first round in first place for the first time in the Final Four era. UP, on the other hand, falls to 2-5, tied with UST.
NU (3) – Santiago 17, Sato 10, Doria 6, Nabor 6, Paran 5, Doromal 3, Urdas 3, Singh 1, Valdez (L)
UP (0) – Carlos 15, Molde 11, Buitre 5, Layug 4, Estrañero 2, Cailing 1, Lim 0, Rosier 0, Dorog (L), Thai (L)