NU strengthens UAAP Final Four bid, downs UE
National University bolstered its Final Four bid after dispatching of University of the East, 25-15, 25-21, 22-25, 25-21, in the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Lady Bulldogs improved to 6-4, tying idle University of Santo Tomas in the third and fourth spots while the Lady Warriors slid to a woeful 1-9 slate.
Middle blocker Jaja Santiago scored the Lady Bulldogs’ last three points despite being stationed in the back row.
NU head coach Roger Gorayeb chose not to field in a libero in the final set that forced Santiago to be positioned in unfamiliar territory.
Gorayeb, whose team now holds a stable position in the standings, said they have to settle for either the third or fourth seeds with Ateneo (9-1) and La Salle (7-2) taking solid footholds on the top two positions.
“We’re still in contention for the Final Four, but this is the time when everything’s on the line,” said Gorayeb. “No one can bring down Ateneo and La Salle in the top two.”
“I don’t want to be super positive that we can still get the higher seeds, we just have to accept the truth, accept the fact that it will be tough to get to the No.2 seed.
Santiago was dominant against the Lady Warriors as she led NU with 23 points, 20 off spikes, while Jorelle Singh and Risa Sato combined for 27.
NU’s constant offense bombarded UE with 52 scoring spikes as compared to the latter’s 31.
Shaya Adorador had 16 points to lead UE.