NU rallies past Adamson for crucial winBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines—Down but not out.
Resilient National University overcame huge deficits to nail a crucial win over Adamson, 30-28, 20-25, 25-22, 25-19, Wednesday in the UAAP Season 75 women’s volleyball tournament at the Arena in San Juan.
NU stared at a 10-point debacle, 9-19, in the opening set and a 7-14 hole in the third set with all the momentum on Adamson’s side.
“All about teamwork and heart,” stressed NU head coach Francis Vicente, whose team avoided a precarious situation of missing the Final Four with the win.
Driven by a sense of urgency, the Lady Bulldogs turned to their captain Dindin Santiago, who responded with a game-high 21 points.
Adamson was on track to go, 2-1, after Sheila Mae Pineda’s kill made it, 14-7, before a 12-5 NU blast knotted it at 19 on a cross court kill by Aiko Urdas.
Cai Nepomuceno scored on a block that gave the Lady Bulldogs the lead, 19-20.
Nepomuceno was far from done as she churned out three straight points as NU took a 23-21 advantage.
Pineda kept her team alive before NU scored one of its 11 block points, to complete its thrilling third-set comeback.
NU made the necessary adjustments after a slow start, 2-11, in the first set to turn things around and tie the game at 23-all before eventually taking the set on an score by Myla Pablo.
The Lady Bulldogs capped off their stellar play with an 8-1 run to finish off the Lady Falcons, who remained in third place but are now out of contention for a twice-to-beat edge.
NU, at 7-6, put itself in good position to make the semifinals.
“Malaki chances namin (to make it to the Final Four). Pagnanalo FEU over UST magiging 7-6 lahat tapos UST last game nila is Ateneo. Nananalangin kami na sana wala ng playoff (We have big chances to make it to the Final Four. If FEU wins over UST, it will all be 7-6, the UST’s last game would be against Ateneo. We are praying there won’t be any playoff)” said Vicente.
Adamson kept riding on Pineda, who produced 20 points.