V-League: NU, UP try to bolster Final Four bids | Inquirer Sports

V-League: NU, UP try to bolster Final Four bids

By: - Reporter / @jwpayoINQ
/ 10:34 PM June 19, 2016

National University's Jaja Santiago. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

National University’s Jaja Santiago. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

AFTER blowing big leads in recent games, University of the Philippines and National University try to avoid another meltdown against separate opponents Monday and stay in semifinal contention in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference.

The Lady Maroons—who wasted their chance of spoiling volleyball star Alyssa Valdez’s debut with Bali Pure—go for a must-win against Team Iriga at 4 p.m. at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

Also coming off a heartbreaking loss, the Lady Bulldogs aim for a share of the fourth spot versus struggling Team Baguio at 6:30 p.m.

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Unbeaten Pocari Sweat (5-0) already secured a Final Four berth, while Bali Pure (4-1) and Philippine Air Force (4-1) clinched at least a semifinal playoff.

A victory by the Lady Bulldogs, who are banking heavily on the 6-foot-5 Jaja Santiago, will push them into a share of fourth at 3-3 with idle Team Laoag.

The Lady Maroons, toting a 1-3 card, face a tougher road ahead as they need to win their next three games to fan their Final Four bid.

In men’s action, Cignal and Instituto Estetico Manila clash in a battle of unbeaten squads at 1 p.m. in the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Open Conference.

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Both the HD Spikers and the Volley Masters already nailed semifinal seats with similar 3-0 records.

NU coach Roger Gorayeb and UP mentor Jerry Yee hope to see consistency come into play as their teams showed no finishing kick even after posting double-digit set wins against two favored opponents.

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“I’ve been asking the team what has been happening in the fourth and fifth sets,” said Gorayeb as the Lady Bulldogs also failed to sustain their strong start in previous games.

The towering Santiago vies to translate her big numbers into wins after another big outing of 20 points in the Lady Bulldogs’ loss to Air Force, 23-25, 25-21, 13-25, 25-23, 15-8, last week.

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Rookie sensation Isa Molde also tries to do the same for the Lady Maroons, who crumbled  against Valdez and the Water Defenders in a 20-25, 25-22, 15-25, 25-17, 15-12 decision.

TAGS: NU Lady Bulldogs, UP Lady Maroons, V-League, Volleyball

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