UAAP VOLLEYBALL: UST stays alive in Final Four race, adds woes to struggling NU
Mark Escarlote on Mar 25, 2018 03:58 PM
University of Sto. Tomas kept its Final Four hopes alive with a four-set win over National University. (File photo)
University of Sto. Tomas survived another do-or-die game to remain in the Final Four contention.
Mustering enough energy to recover from a late first set collapse, the Tigresses dismantled a skidding National University side, 22-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-9, Sunday in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Big Dome.
Sisi Rondina and Fil-Italian Milena Alessandrini connived to pound the Lady Bulldogs into submission to improve the Espana-based squad’s win-loss record to 4-7. The Tigresses have an outside chance to punch a Final Four ticket if UST sweeps its remaining three games.
“Sa standing naman, siyempre andiyan lang naman ‘yun pero kun'di namin gagalawan, 'di kami makakarating,” said UST head coach Kungfu Reyes. “Nakuha namin ang respeto namin sa sarili namin.”
“Yung mga bata ang naka-taya diyan,” he added. “This time medyo nagiging mas maganda ang resulta ng pinaghihirapan namin.”
Rondina finished with 25 points highlighted by 22 attacks while adding 16 digs for a complete win for the Tigresses. Alessandrini added 19 markers off 11 kills, five kill blocks and a three service aces while Caitlyn Viray and Alina Bicar, who dished out 27 excellent sets, combined for 15 points for UST.
The Tigresses banked on their solid net defense as they scored 12 kill blocks while landing 11 service aces.
NU absorbed its fourth straight loss and remained winless in the second round after topping the first half of the eliminations as the Lady Bulldogs fell to 6-5.
Jaja Santiago saw her 27 points go down the drain while Audrey Paran finished with 11 for NU, which gave away 32 points off errors.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles