UAAP: Race for top two gets tighter as NU finally beats La Salle
ALL MUDDLED UP

UAAP: Race for top two gets tighter after NU finally beats La Salle

UAAP 86 women's volleyball National U DLSU_Abe Pono and Arah Panique

NU Lady Bulldogs vs La Salle Lady Spikers UAAP 86 women’s volleyball. MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

National U finally put one up over La Salle on Sunday night, with a 22-25, 25-23, 25-16, 25-22 victory not only ending a run of heartaches dating back to last season but also putting the Lady Bulldogs well in the race for a top two berth in Season 86 of the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.

“Our mindset was to really beat them today,” National U star Bella Belen said in Filipino after the hard-earned win before more than 11,000 animated, boisterous fans at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay. “We really had to give it our best, because [we knew] it was not going to be easy.

“La Salle is a champion team,” she went on. “They also wanted to win, but we showed that we wanted it more.”

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SCHEDULE: UAAP Season 86 volleyball second round

Improving to 10-2 and grabbing a piece of the lead with idle Santo Tomas, the Bulldogs have ousted Adamson and fourth semifinalist Far Eastern University as last classification round foes.

Santo Tomas and La Salle, meanwhile, will still clash at the end of the elimination round, and granting that the Bulldogs sweep their last two games, the battle between the Golden Tigresses and the Lady Spikers could boil down for the second twice-to-beat spot.

The Tigresses’ other elimination round game will be against University of the East, while La Salle will still have bouts with the Lady Falcons and bitter rival Ateneo before colliding with Santo Tomas.

The Blue Eagles will head into that match with some confidence after scoring a 25-17, 23-25, 25-23, 25-16 win over University of the East in the first game.

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La Salle Lady Spikers

La Salle Lady Spikers in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

The bigger picture of the Final Four was obviously still lost on the Bulldogs after their first win in their last six clashes with the Lady Spikers, with Vange Alinsug, who finished with 22 points built on 20 attacks, talking ecstatically.

“I’m so happy because we really wanted this to happen,” Alinsug said, also in Filipino as National remained unbeaten in the second round. “I can really see that everyone wanted to win.”

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All-around effort

Belen was an all-around sight to behold in what could be the biggest game for the Bulldogs this season, finishing with 14 attack points while adding 14 excellent receptions. Alyssa Solomon completed the three-sided battering ram for NU after finishing with 13 points from 12 attacks and a block.

The loss was the first in three games that Angel Canino has been out with an undisclosed injury for the Lady Spikers. But La Salle fought it out courageously and has nothing to be ashamed of.

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Shevana Laput tried to fill in that huge void with 21 points with graduating middle blocker Thea Gagate delivered 12 points and most of Lady Spikers’ six blocks.

TAGS: Sports, Volleyball

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