MANILA, Philippines — Defending champion De La Salle rallied anew to outlast National University, 25-20, 23-25, 24-26, 25-13, 15-8, Saturday to nab solo lead in the UAAP Season 75 women’s volleyball tournament at the Arena in San Juan.
Sophomore spiker Ara Galang made her presence felt on both ends with 21 points on 17 attacks and four blocks.
“Maganda kasi lalong mate-test nila ang puso and personality inside the court. Okay yun for the team,” said DLSU head coach Ramil de Jesus.
The Lady Bulldogs proved more than just a test as they threatened to shock the Lady Archers, who moved ahead of Ateneo in the standings with a 7-1 record.
“Maganda ang inilaro ng NU kaya ang sinabi ko sa kanila sumabay na lang sa kanila. Maganda ang service receive and blocking nila,” added De Jesus.
NU climbed back from 21-23 down in the third set thanks to Myla Pablo and Cai Nepomuceno.
The Lady Bulldogs took the lead after Pablo’s attack before Nepomuceno blocked Cyd Demecillo for the set-clinching point.
With its back against the wall, La Salle breezed through the fourth set to extend the match to a deciding fifth set, where the Lady Archers’ composure spelled the difference.
Galang scored two big points to make it, 12-8, as NU never recovered.
“Kailangan niyang mag-trabaho ng ganoon si Ara, kung hindi matatalo kami,” said De Jesus.
Reigning MVP Abigail Maraño and Mika Reyes pumped in 13 points apiece while Michelle Gumabao added 10 hits for La Salle, which upended fierce rival Ateneo, 26-28, 21-25, 25-13, 25-21, 15-13 last week.
Six-foot-one Dindin Santiago scored 19 points slowed down in the fifth set while Nepomuceno added 17 hits, including five blocks for the Lady Bulldogs, who fell to fifth at 4-4.