NATIONAL University proved too hot to handle for Adamson, as the defending champion romped away with a surgical three-set 26-24, 25-16, 25-22 decision, forging in the process a three-way logjam on the second spot in the UAAP women's volleyball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

12 April 2023

Standings W L
DLSU 9 1
AdU 7 3
UST 7 3
NU 7 3
FEU 5 5
Ateneo 4 6
UP 1 9
UE 0 10

Games Saturday
(Philsports Arena)
10 a.m. – UE vs AdU (Men)
12 noon – UE vs AdU (Women)
2 p.m. – Ateneo vs UST (Women)
4 p.m. – Ateneo vs UST (Men)

NATIONAL University proved too hot to handle for Adamson, as the defending champion romped away with a surgical three-set 26-24, 25-16, 25-22 decision, forging in the process a three-way logjam on the second spot in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

The Lady Bulldogs were a far cry from their previous five-set victory over the Lady Falcons in the first round, as this time the defending champions were simply at their finest moment on Wednesday (12 April 2023).

They collected point after point almost at will while playing with a lot of intensity en route to posting their second straight win.

More importantly, NU’s second straight victory tightened the race for the second twice-to-beat slot in the Final Four as the Lady Bulldogs are now tied with the Adamson Lady Falcons and idle University of Santo Tomas at No. 2 sharing similar 7-3 win-loss slates.

La Salle still enjoys the view from the top of the standings with a 9-1 record.

Bracing for a tough two-week stretch that will make or break its Final Four bid, Ateneo eliminated the University of the Philippines, 25-20, 25-17, 25-22, in the other match.

The sixth-running Blue Eagles improved to 4-6, still three games out of the last Final Four slot.

Mhicaela Belen was solid for the Lady Bulldogs with 20 points, including two blocks, and 11 receptions while Alyssa Solomon also had two blocks for a 11-point outing.

Rookie Vangie Alinsug, who was NU’s other double-digit scorer with 10 points, tallied a match-best three blocks.

Heading into the last two weeks of the eliminations, the Lady Bulldogs are looking forward to polish further their game.

“Siyempre, kami po, hindi kami nakukuntento dapat kahit nanalo kami, dapat tumingin kami po sa brighter side na meron pa kaming kayang i-improve. Like yung errors namin, kaya naming i-minimize eh and yung consistency talaga namin,” said Belen, as NU gave away 23 points from errors.

“And I think nasa sa amin iyon kung paano didisplinahin yung sarili namin,” the reigning MVP added.

Rizza Cruz had nine points, including two blocks, to lead the Lady Falcons as the 1-2 punch of Trish Tubu and Kate Santiago could only muster nine and six points, respectively.

Faith Nisperos took the scoring mantle for Ateneo with 17 kills and collected seven digs, Vanie Gandler added nine points while Lyann de Guzman chipped in eight points and seven receptions. Blue Eagles libero Roma Mae Doromal tallied 18 digs and 18 receptions while Taks Fujimoto tossed in 12 excellent sets.

“We need this win of course if we want to go further. We have to be focused and be committed in every match. Yun lang naman ang mindset namin going into this game,” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro.

The Blue Eagles, who last failed to get past the eliminations in the 2008-09 season, begin a difficult stretch against the Tigresses on Sunday.

Alyssa Bertolano logged five kills for the Fighting Maroons, who will miss the Final Four for the fifth consecutive season with their ninth loss in 10 matches.

In the men’s division, UP outlasted Ateneo, 13-25, 22-25, 26-24, 39-37, 15-12, to snap a nine-match losing streak.

The Fighting Maroons rallied from two sets down, winning the marathon fourth set courtesy of a Louis Gamban crosscourt kill to force a decider.

Jaivee Malabanan then drilled in the match-winning spike that gave UP its first victory of the season.

Gamban, who came through with 22 points, 16 receptions and 14 digs, was happy to see the Fighting Maroons continue to march on despite staring at a two-set deficit.

“Kahit na naghahabol, kailangan pa rin naming kapitan. Tsaka yung fighting spirit na kailangan ilaban namin ito, walang bibitaw. Talagang ibuhos na ito kasi UAAP na ito so kailangang ibigay na all-out performance, ibibigay na talaga,” said Gamban.

The Blue Eagles’ defeat negated rookie Jian Salarzon’s 30-point outing.

Ateneo, which saw its three-match winning streak snapped, dropped to 5-5 in a tie with La Salle in fourth place.