NATIONAL University put up a gallant show of blocking prowess in the second set en route to overcoming hard-fighting Far Eastern University, 25-21, 25-9, 25-18, on Saturday in the UAAP women's volleyball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

18 March 2023

Standings W L
DLSU 5 0
NU 5 1
AdU 4 1
UST 5 2
FEU 3 4
UP 1 4
Ateneo 1 5
UE 0 7

Games Sunday:
(Filoil EcoOil Centre)
9 a.m. – DLSU vs AdU (Men)
11 a.m. – DLSU vs AdU (Women)
3 p.m. – Ateneo vs UP (Women)
5 p.m. – Ateneo vs UP (Men)

NATIONAL University put up a gallant show of blocking prowess in the second set en route to overcoming hard-fighting Far Eastern University, 25-21, 25-9, 25-18, on Saturday in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

The victory shoved the Lady Bulldogs up solo second in the standings which are slowly showing the final composition of teams as the first-round elimination closes in.

The Lady Tams were much in the thick of things even after being blown out in the second set but the Lady Bulldogs had every answer in every corner in the succeeding set.

Crucial for FEU was a late run behind reigning MVP Mhicaela Belen, Cess Robles, and Alyssa Solomon en route to a 25-18 decision in the third and chalk up their fifth win in six matches.

“Kailangan lang namin maging consistent pa throughout the game kasi kung mao-observe natin, ang dami naming unforced errors so kailangan namin magbawas,” said coach Karl Dimaculangan.

A huge assignment now looms for NU which is now focusing on Wednesday’s Season 85 Finals rematch with La Salle.

Earlier, the University of Santo Tomas recovered from an opening set loss to repulse the University of the East, 30-32, 25-18, 25-16, 25-14, and finish the first round with a 5-2 record.

The Lady Bulldogs logged 11 blocks, with Solomon and Erin Pangilinan accounting for three apiece, and Robles and Sheena Toring tallying two each.

Belen led NU with 16 points and 10 receptions, Solomon had 14 points and seven digs and Robles added 12 points.

The Lady Bulldogs are now all set in facing the Lady Spikers, who remain perfect in six matches. Prior to facing NU, La Salle is yet to play against Adamson at 11 a.m. today, where Dimaculangan and the rest of the team will watch closely.

“Nire-review namin sila kung paano maglaro. Mahalaga yung game din bukas (Sunday). Doon namin makikita kung ano na ang magiging adjustments nila since first round pa lang naman. Magpe-prepare din kami ng mabuti,” said Dimaculangan.

FEU, with Chenie Tagaod leading the charge with six kills, will enter the second round with a 3-4 record.

Van Bangayan and KC Cepada, playing against their high school mater for the first time, towed the Lady Warriors in winning the first set before Eya Laure and Regina Jurado took care of business in the next three to give the Tigresses their third consecutive win.

Laure finished with 18 points, including three blocks, and six digs while Jurado chipped in 13 points for UST.

Cepada, making the most of her role as a starter, logged 12 points while Bangayan sustained her solid play for UE with 11 points, 11 digs, and 13 receptions.

Tigresses coach Kungfu Reyes was happy to see his products Cepada and Bangayan shine for the Lady Warriors, who despite having a winless first-round record are showing their competitiveness.

“Hindi namin silang puwedeng i-keep lahat. We are looking na kung saan sila puwede magma-manifest yung kanilang security from high school to college, mai-showcase nila,” said Reyes.

“Kung magiging madamot lang ako, hindi ko sila papakawalan. Kaya lang, sayang yung talent ng mga bata na puwedeng mapakinabangan and magkaroon sila ng sariling identity. Yun naman ang gusto namin na mag-grow sila. Nakikita namin na nag-grow sila, masaya yung feeling,” he added.

“Ngayon nga, awkward lang yung pakiramdam, kasi nasa opposite side kami. Pero yung killer instinct nila, nandoon pa rin. Kaya lang limited yung height, pero yung puso, hindi mo naman matatawaran. Talagang nandoon naman yung Thomasian spirit na nadala nila and hopefully makahawa sila doon.”

In the men’s division, rookie Josh Ybañez fired six service aces to finish with 18 points to go along with 11 receptions and five digs as UST ended its first round with a 6-1 record with a 25-17, 25-21, 25-23 conquest of UE.

“We’re getting there. Yung first round was the mastery period for us, for getting to know one another the setters and the attackers at yung depensa namin tumitinis na ng konti,” said coach Odjie Mamon after the Golden Spikers needed only 80 minutes to hand the Red Warriors their fourth consecutive loss.

It was Ybañez’s attack from the back row that closed out the match, foiling the UE’s fightback from a 20-24 hole late in the third set.

Jay Rack Dela Noche added 10 points, including three blocks, while Edlyn Colinares also had three blocks for an eight-point showing for UST, which is enjoying its finest start since the 2011-12 season.

The Red Warriors fell to 2-5.

UE battled back from a 6-17 deficit to snatch the opening set.

With a 31-30 lead, the Lady Warriors were booked a yellow card for delay warning but turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Riza Nogales, who was supposed to be subbed out, put up a decent dig that led to Cepada’s set clincher.

Milena Alessandrini and Imee Hernandez added 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the Tigresses, while setter Cassie Carballo tossed in 15 excellent sets to go along with two blocks and two aces.

Ja Lana top-scored for UE with 13 points and had five receptions.