Santiago powers NU past UP in four sets
Paul Lintag on Sep 05, 2016 08:43 PM
Jaja Santiago dropped 22 points as the Lady Bulldogs are one win away from making it back to the V-League finals
Defending champion National University was not going to be denied Monday.
The Lady Bulldogs continued their winning run in the 13th V-League Collegiate Conference playoffs after a strong 25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 26-24, victory against University of the Philippines at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.
After sweeping the quarterfinals, the Lady Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in their semifinal series against the Lady Maroons after an ultra-close encounter.
NU was a picture of composure all game long as the champs withstood a great challenge from the young UP side.
"Good thing naman dahil nakikita ko na dikitan ngayon pero lumalaban pa rin sila and nandun yung tapang," assistant coach Edjet Mabbayad said.
The Lady Bulldogs looked well on their way to a sweep after scoring a pair of 25-23 wins to take a 2-0 lead behind the dominating presence of Jaja Santiago.
However, UP flipped the script in set 3 before NU had to dig deep and close out an extended fourth set.
Santiago and Jorelle Singh led NU with 22 points apiece.
Aiko Urdas added 12 for the shorthanded Lady Bulldogs who only had 11 players Monday.
Nicole Tiamzon led the fight for UP, scoring 17 points on 16 attacks.
Game 2 of the series is on Wednesday, also at PhilSports.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8