National U faces FEU, UST in KO matches
MANILA, Philippines–Looking to sustain its peak form, National University battles gutsy Far Eastern University squad at the start of the stepladder semifinals in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We’re treating every game a championship game, because one miss, you die,” said NU coach Roger Gorayeb.
The winner of the knockout match at 4 p.m. will advance against No. 2 La Salle, which totes a twice-to-beat advantage.
Defending champion Ateneo pulled off a 14-0 sweep of the eliminations to jump straight to the Finals.
In men’s action, defending champion NU and University of Santo Tomas also clash in a winner-take-all at 2 p.m. for the right to face Ateneo in the Finals.
The Lady Bulldogs secured the third spot with an 8-6 record, including a 6-3 slate under Gorayeb, who took over late in the first round and quickly whipped NU back into title contention.
“NU is playing very well, but we’re not losing hope,” said FEU coach Shaq delos Santos. “We’re able to make it here, but we can’t relax. For sure, the game will be intense.”
The Lady Tamaraws nailed the last semifinal berth after outlasting the favored UST side in five sets, 25-21, 25-15, 20-25, 16-25, 15-6, in last Wednesday’s playoff as the two squads wound up tied at 6-8 at the end of the eliminations.