NATIONAL University clinched the twice-to-beat semifinals bonus in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament with a 25-20, 25-17, 13-25, 25-13 romp of Adamson last night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Aside from consistency which he always preaches for the team, coach Karl Dimaculangan reminded one key attitude for the Lady Bulldogs to continue their perfect run.
“Maturity, yung character ng team doon kami siguro masusubukan,” said Dimaculangan after NU raised its league-best record to 11-0.
Alyssa Solomon dropped 20 points, including three service aces, Mhicaela Belen added 18 points and 11 receptions, while Cess Robles had 12 points and six digs for the Lady Bulldogs.
Earlier, La Salle had Eya Laure to bleed in getting her points to beat University of Santo Tomas, 25-23, 25-17, 22-25, 25-8, and claim solo second
Laure, the Tigresses heart and soul, was held down to a career-low eight points by the tough Lady Spikers defense.
The 23-year old spiker, whose previous scoring low was 11 points in UST’s three-set win over University of the Philippines on April 20, 2019, went 8-of-60 from attacks.
With its third consecutive win, La Salle improved to 8-3 overall to boost its drive of securing a twice-to-beat bonus in either the Final Four or step-ladder format.
The Lady Spikers dislodged the Tigresses, who dropped to 7-4 with their second straight loss, in second spot, avenging their five-set defeat in the first round.
“I think yung lumabas sa amin dito is yung more of the consistency ng team following up doon sa mga previous matches namin na na straight sets,” said La Salle assistant coach Benson Bocboc.
“So far, going up yung mga performance ng mga players and nagkataon ngayon na may lumabas na naman na mga scorers.”
Ranged against a foe playing with nothing left but pride, the Fighting Maroons played with a sense of urgency to keep their Final Four hopes alive.
UP fired 11 service aces in a 25-10, 25-19, 25-7 dismantling of also-ran Far Eastern University to halt a two-match slide.
“They did a really, really good job,” said coach Godfrey Okumu after the Fighting Maroons moved up to 5-6, just one game behind the Lady Falcons (6-5).
“They gave their best. We’ve been struggling, until today we were not able to find our rhythm and I’d say the girls did fantastic today.”
Leila Cruz took the scoring mantle for the Lady Spikers with 15 points, including two blocks, Fifi Sharma had three blocks for a 13-point outing, while Thea Gagate also had 13 points.
Imee Hernandez scored five of her 12 points from blocks while Ypril Tapia also had 12 points, including two service aces, for UST.
UP’s rookies shone, as Alyssa Bertolano had four aces to finish with 14 points to go with seven digs and four receptions while Ethan Arce added 13 points, including five service winners.
The Lady Tamaraws, who will miss the Final Four for the first time since the 2013-14 season, absorbed their 10th loss in 11 games.