UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Gumising ang dragon, charot! -- Santiago
Mark Escarlote on Apr 08, 2018 06:43 PM
Jaja Santiago and National University got over an alarming skid with a straight sets win over University of the East.
“It’s good to be back!” said a very relieved National University star Jaja Santiago.
The graduating hitter followed it up with “Love you!” as she shared high fives with Lady Bulldogs setter Jasmine Nabor.
Santiago and Nabor as well as the whole NU squad breathed a sigh of relief after arresting an agonizing five-game slump with a straight-set 26-24, 26-24, 25-20 victory over University of the East Sunday in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
“Sobrang bigat (nung losing skid). Tipong kada-training, iniisip namin na, 'Hindi, kaya natin 'to, kaya natin 'to.' Pero alam mo 'yun, parang may humihila sa'yo na, 'Wala na, wala na 'yang pag-asa,'” said Santiao, who exploded with 22 points on 18 attacks, three kill blocks and an ace.
The Lady Bulldogs went on a long and frustrating slump that overshadowed NU’s impressive 6-1 first round start.
“Pero nakikita mo naman sa bawat isa na wala talagang sumusuko, kahit minsan nagkaka-iyakan na kami, na anong nangyayari, anong kulang, bakit ganon. Sobrang hirap,” added Santiago, whose squad is assured of at least a playoff for the last semis seat in case Adamson University (5-7) sweeps its last two assignments.
But with the win that improved their record to 7-6 slate at solo fourth, the Lady Bulldogs are now just a victory away from a return stint in the semis after two seasons.
"Gumising ang dragon, charot!" exclaimed Santiago.
“Masarap po sa feeling kasi kahit papaano 'yun nga, nakabangon na po kami,” said the playmaker, who had 41 excellent sets.
Nabor admitted she worked double time to improve her game following a dip in performance after an impressive outing in the first round.
“Siguro kaya ganun kasi masyado rin talagang maraming iniisip. Siyempre, setter ako tapos nag-iisa pa ako, so mahirap para sa akin na ganoon 'yung nangyayari sa amin,” she said. “'Yung mga pinag-usapan po namin, na-apply namin kanina sa loob ng court, na kahit lamang 'yung kalaban, push pa rin kami. Naramdaman ko 'yung bawat isa sa amin.”
Fil-Japanese Risa Sato also rebounded from a scoreless outing in their previous loss to University of the Philippines as she piled up 13 markers for NU.
The Lady Bulldogs will face Far Eastern University on April 15.
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