NU, Ateneo near crowns
With Jaja Santiago serving as its powerful engine, the National University freight train arrived one stop away from the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference women’s title Wednesday night.
The 6-foot-5 national team mainstay was an unstoppable force with 23 points as NU steamrolled over Far Eastern University, 25-22, 21-25, 25-18, 26-24, in Game 1 of the best-of-three finals series at Filoil Flying V Centre.
The Lady Bulldogs, unbeaten so far in eight matches, can sweep their way to the title on Saturday.
In men’s action, Gian Glorioso and Marck Espejo provided the spark for Ateneo as it repulsed Far Eastern University, 25-22, 25-20, 25-19, to come within a win of claiming the title.
Glorioso scored 15 points, while four-time UAAP Most Valuable Player Espejo accounted for 14 points aside from 12 excellent receptions and five digs.
The Blue Eagles can wrap up the series with a win in Game 2 on Saturday.
NU stormed with a first-set win anchored on Santiago, who was scoring at will against FEU, which was trying to find the right combination with the absence of team captain Bernadeth Pons.
FEU, which struggled against Adamson to make the finals, found its stride in the second set with 10 service aces—including three straight by Jeanette Villareal—to complete its fight back from a 14-19 deficit in the frame.
The Lady Tamaraws managed to save two match points but they committed back-to-back turnovers down the line.
But the Lady Bulldogs put things in working order in the next set with Risa Sato, Aiko Urdas and Jorelle Singh serving as perfect foils for Santiago, which sent the Lady Tamaraws’ defenses in disarray.
Earlier, Arellano University moved closer to third place in women’s division after crushing Adamson University, 25-23, 26-24, 25-14.
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