NU pounces on UST’s slow start to grab semifinals ticket
MANILA, Philippines – National University smelled blood from the beginning and instinct kicked in as they swept University of Santo Tomas, 25-22, 25-23, 25-11, to barge into the semifinals of the Shakey's V-League 12 Collegiate Conference on Sunday, August 30 at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Guest player Dindin Santiago-Manabat had another solid showing with 10 spikes and 3 blocks for 13 points to lead the Lady Bulldogs to a 5-1 carryover record at second place.
Myla Pablo, whom head coach Roger Gorayeb urged to assert herself more during the game, did not disappoint with 11 points including key attacks in the second set that overturned the Tigresses' brief advantage.
Jaja Santiago and Jorelle Singh chipped in 10 points apiece.
"Our attacks," Manabat answered in Filipino when asked what NU did right against UST. "We weren't able to execute what we trained for yesterday in terms of service and receive but we made up for it with our attacks."
The Tigresses, known to be a moody squad on the court, were hesitant from the first serve and displayed their so-called diesel engine tendencies. Playing cautious and gauging their foes at first may have worked for other opponents but against the experienced Lady Bulldogs, it simply spelled disaster.
NU quickly created separation and kept UST within a 5-point distance. But they allowed the Espanya crew to close in towards the end of the first set, which gave the Tigresses momentum entering the second to take control of the lead.
UST looked more energetic in the second frame but consecutive errors midway, however, opened the door for NU to climb back and build a 2-0 lead.
The Tigresses were completely depleted by the third set as the Lady Bulldogs raced to a 4-0 early edge marked by running attacks and well-placed drop balls that found the many holes of UST's floor defense.
The Tigresses found themselves stuck at 10 points in the third set and never recovered.
Carmela Tunay had 8 points while Pam Lastimosa added 7 in UST's losing effort as they slipped to a 4-2 carryover card tied with Far Eastern University.
NU will try to put a dent on Ateneo's undefeated record next week.
"We will focus on each and every one of them," Manabat said of their next match against the Alyssa Valdez-led Lady Eagles. "They all can score. We need to match their teamwork."
Meanwhile, the University of the Philippines overcame College of St. Benilde in 4 sets, 18-25, 25-16, 25-19, 25-19.
Justine Dorog exploded for 20 points while Isa Molde and Diana Carlos contributed 14 and 12 points, respectively. Marian Buitre added 11 points in a victory that saw the Lady Maroons finish off the Lady Blazers in straight sets after dropping the first.
Jannine Navarro was on target once more as she tallied 16 points for Benilde while Melanie Torress chipped in 12. – Rappler.com