UAAP: NU battles Adamson for shot to boost Final Four bonus bid
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UAAP: NU battles Adamson for chance to boost Final Four bonus bid

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 05:25 AM April 20, 2024

Bella Belen NU Lady Bulldogs beat La Salle UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball

NU Lady Bulldogs’ Bella Bele in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament . MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

Bella Belen and the National University Lady Bulldogs pride themselves on not looking too far ahead into the future. They like to take it one game at a time, she said.

And for this time, this game, it could mean at least a playoff for the second twice-to-beat bonus in the semifinals of the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament when the resilient Belen and gung-ho Bulldogs battle also-ran but pressure-free Adamson on Saturday at PhilSports Arena in Pasig.

“We only think of what’s in front of us,” Belen said in Filipino when asked what she felt of the muddled-up race for top two berths in the Final Four. “We always take it one game at a time. We don’t think too much of the future.”

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Belen knows what she’s talking about, for a loss would damn their chances of finishing in the top two.

In a three-way tie for the lead with idle defending champion La Salle and surprising University of Santo Tomas, National is heavily favored in the 4 p.m. game, with a win giving the Bulldogs at least a tie for second spot at the end of the double round classification.

National will be fresh off the heels of a 22-25, 25-23, 25-16, 25-22 victory over La Salle last Sunday, the third game that ace Angel Canino missed for the Lady Spikers because of an injury on her right forearm. The team has still refused to issue an official statement on her injury nor a timetable for her return.

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With the Lady Spikers and Golden Tigresses still to clash and go separate ways at the end of the elimination round, a win against the Soaring Lady Falcons plus another opposite Far Eastern next week could more or less do the job for the Bulldogs.

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“The championship will come for us if we work hard for it,” Belen said. “I believe that there is always a reward for all our hard work.”

The Lady Tamaraws, who battle University of the Philippines in the 2 p.m. contest, are assured of No. 4 ranking in the semifinals. But there is still a wafer-thin chance for Far Eastern to finish in the top two, provided that only one squad that’s ahead in the standings reaches 11 wins.

La Salle will still battle bitter rival Ateneo before the Santo Tomas setto, while the Tigresses are slated to slug it out with University of the East first.

If both win their respective matches before their match next weekend, and National sweeps its last two, then the La Salle-UST match will be for the second Final Four bonus.

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And with National and Santo Tomas splitting their elimination round matches, and the Bulldogs and Lady Spikers halving theirs, the La Salle-Santo Tomas match will carry a lot of weight in the tiebreak, especially if the Tigresses complete an elimination round sweep of La Salle.

TAGS: Adamson, National University Lady Bulldogs, UAAP women's volleyball

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