Santiago right in time to complete NU’s comeback vs DLSU
Before Jaja Santiago could get a chance to lead National University and rip La Salle’s fighting spirit in the final period, she first had to agonize for a few minutes sitting on the Lady Bulldogs’ bench.
Santiago couldn’t get into the game in the early part of the fifth set as her team still hasn’t rotated enough for the middle blocker to get into position.
La Salle held a 12-8 lead, needing just three more points to remain perfect in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament, but Aiko Urdas managed to score on a check ball to cut the deficit to 12-9.
And trimming the lead wasn’t the only thing Urdas did, her point also allowed NU to rotate and that movement gave way for Santiago to enter the game.
“I was nervous but I know I had to compose myself that even though I wasn’t on the floor we can win the game,” said Santiago in Filipino Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre.
Santiago’s impact was immeasurable and setter Jasmine Nabor knew the mere presence of their captain is enough to make them a better team than the Lady Spikers.
“When she entered the game, it was like a big boost of confidence for us,” said Nabor, who had 53 excellent sets, in Filipino. “All the defense had to do was get the ball in the air, and it will be up to me to adjust and give it to the spiker.”
Santiago, who had 27 points, put NU at the first match point, 14-13, with a brutal quick kill.
Nabor then set up Santiago for another masterful kill this time, for the 15-14 match point before Aiko Urdas’ service ace ended the match, 26-24, 19-25, 22-25, 25-17, 16-14.
“I knew that when I got back on the floor I will give my 100-plus percent,” said Santiago. “Jasmine gave me the trust and as long as she gives me the ball I will score in anyway possible, no hesitation.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.