UAAP WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT: NU KEEPS TWICE-TO-BEAT HOPES ALIVE WITH 3-SET WIN OVER FEU
DEFENDING champion National University set the race for the second twice-to-beat slot in the Final Four on fire with a hard-earned 25-21, 25-14, 25-23 win over Far Eastern University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines women's volleyball tournament at the Philsports Arena on Sunday.
Standings W L
*DLSU 10 1
AdU 8 3
UST 8 3
NU 8 3
FEU 5 6
Ateneo 4 7
UP 1 10
UE 0 11
(Mall of Asia Arena)
10 a.m. – FEU vs Ateneo (Men)
12 noon – FEU vs Ateneo (Women)
2 p.m. – DLSU vs AdU (Women)
4 p.m. – DLSU vs AdU (Men)
DEFENDING champion National University set the race for the second twice-to-beat slot in the Final Four on fire with a hard-earned 25-21, 25-14, 25-23 win over Far Eastern University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines women’s volleyball tournament at the Philsports Arena on Sunday.
The Lady Bulldogs used all the tricks they had in store before overcoming the tough Lady Tamaraws, especially in the first and third sets, and picking up their third straight victory in as many outings.
Explained NU team captain Cess Robles: “Yung problema kasi kami, yung error namin so yun nga palagi naming nireremind na kapag yung game dikitan, kailangan all-out kami. Yun siguro yung kinapitan namin para manalo kami nung first and third set.”
And league-leading La Salle had something to thank for NU’s victory as the Lady Archers got a free ride to the Final Four while officially dashing Ateneo’s aspirations for a stint in the next round.
This is the first time that the Katipunan-based spikers will be missing a Final Four appearance after making the cut in the previous 11 seasons of the UAAP.
With the win, NU improved to 8-3, locked in a three-way tie at the second spot with Adamson and the University of Santo Tomas, right on track for a twice-to-beat aspration in the next round.
The Lady Spikers, meanwhile, rebounded big from a deflating 19-25, 25-14, 18-25, 12-25 loss to the Tigresses that ended a nine-match winning run.
Angel Canino had two blocks and two service aces to finish with 17 points while 6-foot-1 rookie Shevana Laput scored nine points in her first start as La Salle moved closer to securing the twice-to-beat Final Four incentive with a 25-15, 25-16, 25-16 dismantling of also-ran University of the Philippines.
The Lady Spikers secured their 10th win in 11 matches.
Alyssa Solomon led the Lady Bulldogs with 18 points on 17-of-28 spikes, reigning MVP Mhicaela Belen added 14 points, while rookie Vangie Alinsug had team-highs three blocks and three service aces for a 12-point outing and collected 12 digs.
Three-peat-seeking NU, for its part, claimed a twice-to-beat advantage in the men’s Final Four after thwarting a gritty FEU side, 28-26, 25-21, 26-28, 25-23.
The Bulldogs extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches to stay on course for an outright Finals berth while also extending their winning streak to 29 games since 2019.
“Sobrang ganda ng game both teams naman binigay yung best nila may mga bagay lang na lumamang kami. Sana mag tuloy tuloy sa panalo ulit sa next game namin,” said NU coach Dante Alinsunurin.
La Salle assistant coach Noel Orcullo was happy to see the team regain its old form.
“After the game nung sa UST, yun din yung sinabi sa kanila (players) na kahit papaano makaranas kung paano babangon. After ng Holy Week pinaalala sa kanila kalimutan na yung nangyari, ito kailangan big bounce back ba. At least, they showed it,” said Orcullo.
Canino, who struggled offensively in the loss to the Tigresses, was efficient with 13-of-26 attacks.
The loss pushed the fifth-running Lady Tamaraws to the brink of elimination with their sixth loss in 11 matches.
Jov Fernandez and Chenie Tagaod each scored seven points while Mitzi Panangin had two blocks for a six-point outing for FEU.
Steph Bustrillo led the Fighting Maroons with 10 points while Niña Ytang added nine points, including two blocks.
The Tamaraws won the third frame and rolled to a strong 7-1 start in the fourth, but the Bulldogs stormed back behind Mike Buddin and Nico Almendras to complete the fightback.
“Ang sabi ko sa kanila, kumuha tayo ng isang puntos, magkaka-momentum tayo. Magde-deretso kapag naka-service receive at maka-block tayo. Ang sabi ko focus, one point at a time,” said Almendras, who contributed 17 points and 15 receptions, on the fourth set comeback.
Buddin came through with 24 points and 22 receptions, Ken Malinis added 13 points, while Congo’s Obed Mukaba and Diao tallied 12 points apiece for NU.
FEU, which drew 28 points and 10 digs from Mark Calado, suffered its third straight defeat to slip to 6-5 in the third spot.