UAAP VOLLEYBALL: NU bites DLSU in 5-set thriller
Mark Escarlote on Feb 18, 2018 04:36 PM
National University preserved its spotless record with a thrilling win over grand slam-seeking De La Salle University.
National University shocked grand slam-seeking De La Salle University to preserve its perfect record and occupy the solo lead in a thrilling 26-24, 19-25, 22-25, 25-17, 16-14, win Sunday in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Lady Bulldogs rallied from a four-point deficit down the stretch in the fifth and collected their fourth win in as many outings while pulling the Lady Spikers down to second spot with a 3-1 win-loss slate. NU surpassed its 3-0 start last season.
NU head coach Babes Castillo praised his squad's character and composure especially after going down 8-12 in the deciding frame.
"Sinabi nga sa akin ng mga nandoon sa audience kanina, ‘Grabe ang tibay ng team mo,’" he said. "Then lahat ng naglaro, lahat playing for each other. ‘Yan ang inensayo namin for a week. Sabi ko we play for the person beside us. Kita ko 'yun. Pati si Risa (Sato), 'di ba?"
Graduating hitter Jaja Santiago pounded 20 kills in 43 attempts while scoring four kill blocks and three service aces to finish with game-high 27 points for the Lady Bulldogs.
Risa Sato added 15 points on 10 kills and five kill blocks while Aiko Urdas and Audrey Paran posted 10 markers each. Setter Jasmine Nabor tallied 53 excellent in NU's total of 55 attacks.
DLSU raced to an early 6-3 advantage but NU fought back to breathe down their necks, 8-7. The Lady Spikers built a 12-8 cushion but the Lady Bulldogs clawed their way out of the hole with four straight points capped by a Roselyn Doria kill block on May Luna to tie the frame at 12.
Luna answered with a kill but an error by DLSU and a kill by Santiago put NU at match point, 14-13.
Kim Kianna Dy responded with a spike of her own before Santiago pounded a crosscourt to take the second match point advantage, 15-14. Urdas finished off DLSU with a service ace off the hands of Dawn Macandili to seal the comeback win.
Reigning Most Vauable Player Majoy Baron scored 14 points, Luna had 12 while Dy finished with 11 for the Lady Spikers, who committed 33 errors.
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