UST shoots for the last Final Four spot, NU hopes to survive
Mark Escarlote on Apr 07, 2017 11:59 PM
University of Sto. Tomas is now on the brink of ending a four-year Final Four drought.
National University is in a virtual twice-to-win disadvantage against University of Sto. Tomas to earn a slot in the 79th UAAP women's volleyball Final Four.
The Lady Bulldogs march into their 12:00 noon battle at the Big Dome desperately needing a win to force a playoff for the last semifinals berth.
The match will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A Channel 166 and via livestream.
NU was in a good position to advance in the Final Four midway in the second round but two straight losses dragged them in a precarious situation to miss the semis for the second straight year under head coach Roger Gorayeb.
The Lady Bulldogs were swept by the semis-bound Far Eastern University, 21-25, 21-25, 22-25 last week. NU holds a 7-6 win-loss slate.
“Kailangan talaga (naming manalo). Ayaw ko ng ganyang sitwasyon, namamaybay kami,” said Gorayeb. “Sabi ko nga sa kanila, ang aga nating nag-7. Three games pa, kailangan natin ng isa. Ngayon, dalawang talo. Ang hirap eh. Hindi naman kami nawawalan ng tiwala sa kanila.”
The Tigresses parade an 8-5 slate and a win will lock them at the no. 3 semis seed and will take on the loser between defending champion De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila in their end of elims rematch Saturday afternoon.
UST is coming off a morale-boosting win against also-ran University of the Philippines, 25-20, 25-21, 25-16, last Sunday hoping to use it as a fuel in their drive to make a repeat of their first round victory over NU.
The Tigresses are also in a good position to end a four-year Final Four drought.
“Ngayon, nandito na kami, papasok na kami, malaki na ‘yung chance namin para sa Final Four,” said UST coach Kungfu Reyes. “Hindi na namin hahayaan na mawala pa sa kamay namin.”
EJ Laure, Sisi Rondina and Ria Meneses will lead UST’s attack against NU, which will bank on Jaja Santiago, Jorelle Singh, Risa Sato and setter Jasmine Nabor.
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