UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Ghost of seasons past continues to haunt NU
Mark Escarlote on Mar 21, 2018 08:51 PM
National University's ghost of seasons past continues to haunt the Lady Bulldogs.
This was the only answer Jaja Santiago gave to reporters, who waited for the National University star outside of the Lady Bulldogs’ dugout Wednesday in the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The graduating volleybelle didn’t even bother to look at the scribes trying to get an interview after another devastating loss by the Lady Bulldogs as Santiago continued to walk towards the exit of the venue with prized setter Jasmine Nabor in tow.
NU, which closed the first round of the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the top spot with a 6-1 record, absorbed its third consecutive defeat in the crucial half of the elimination round after bowing down to Adamson University, 19-25, 15-25, 25-18, 13-25, in another heartbreaking loss.
Santiago scored 21 points and had 11 digs, but she was the only Lady Bulldog in double-figures scoring.
The team that was considered as one of the top contenders to challenge the dynasty of De La Salle University this year seemed to have failed to exorcise the ghost of second round collapse that has been haunting the squad since Season 78 – the first of two straight years that NU failed to advance in the Final Four.
It was the plunge that Santiago during the end of the first round told reporters that won’t happen again in her last year with the Lady Bulldogs.
But fate was cruel with NU.
The Lady Bulldogs were swept by the grand slam-seeking Lady Spikers and the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles – the same teams that they defeated in five sets in the first round – to open the last half of the elims.
“They still remember that eh. ‘Yung vibe, alam mo yun?” said NU coach Babes Castillo.
“Nu’ng natalo sila one time, ‘yun na rin narinig ko eh, from the audience, from some members of the community, na ‘Naku na ito na naman ‘yung dati eh’,” he added. “A’yun naman ‘yung vibe eh.”
The Lady Bulldogs slid to no. 4 spot with a 6-4 win-loss slate tied with Far Eastern University.
A good run in the opening round gave NU some room to breathe in the tightening race for a spot in the semis but with Adamson (5-5) breathing down their necks and University of Sto. Tomas and University of the Philippines, who both hold a 3-7 card, still in the running for a semis spot, the Lady Bulldogs’ can’t put their guards down.
NU will take on UST on Sunday.
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