UAAP volleyball: NU scrapes past Adamson, readies for La Salle
MANILA, Philippines — National University watched as semifinals contender Far Eastern University fell at the hands of lowly University of the Philippines Sunday.
And it appeared like a day of upsets when the Lady Bulldogs got quite a scare before eluding Adamson, 15-25, 25-23, 25-20, 34-32, to keep its pursuit of the top spot going in the UAAP Season 76 women’s volleyball tournament at the Arena in San Juan.
“The players just don’t want to let a close game slip away,” NU coach Edjet Mabbayad told reporters in Filipino after his squad moved half a game behind pacesetting De La Salle in the standings anew with a 12-1 card.
Dindin Santiago pumped in 21 points while Myla Pablo and Carmin Aganon added 14 apiece for NU, which needed four cracks at match point to seal the win.
The Lady Falcons, on the other hand, muffed six chances to extend the game, before an unforced error by Faye Guevarra sent them into a tie with Far Eastern University anew in fourth place with identical 6-7 records.
Adamson, which drew a game-high 25 points from Sheila Pineda, blew an opportunity to move into solo fourth after FEU took a stunning fourth-set defeat at the hands of UP earlier.
Both teams went back-and-forth in the fourth set. A Marleen Cortel hit in between two blockers put the Lady Falcons at set point for the sixth and final time, 30-29.
Mylene Paat knotted the count at 32 but he followed up her block point with a costly service error before a four touches violation was called against Adamson to give NU the hard-earned victory.
Mae Zapanta chipped in 15 points, including two piercing hits that put the Lady Falcons at set point twice.
NU remains as the only team capable of dealing three-time defending champion La Salle its first loss that would prevent the Lady Spikers from nailing an outright championship berth.
But Mabbayad knows his team wouldn’t stand a chance if it will perform the way it did Sunday.
“We won’t win against La Salle if we play like this. The players need to focus more,” he said.
La Salle, which has dropped a set only once in its 12-0 start so far, dominated NU in their first round meeting. The Lady Bulldogs get to redeem themselves on Saturday when the two best teams in the league meet again at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Every team has its weakness and let’s just see what happens,” said Mabbayad.
La Salle spikers down NU; Adamson keeps lead in fourth