UAAP volleyball: No. 1 NU takes on fourth-ranked FEU

UAAP volleyball: No. 1 NU takes on fourth-ranked FEU

UAAP volleyball schedule NU Lady Bulldogs FEU Lady Tamaraws

FILE–NU Lady Bulldogs against FEU Lady Tamaraws during their UAAP Season 86 volleyball second round showdown. –MARLO CUETO/

National University (NU) had made its intentions known as early as the time when it knew which team it will face in the Final Four.

The top-ranked Lady Bulldogs essentially said that they wouldn’t want their series against No. 4 Far Eastern University going the full two-game route, saying that not only because they want to, but because they have the game to back it up.

“Modesty aside, our performance is rising at the right time,” coach Norman Miguel said in Filipino as his twice-to-beat side shoots to become the first team in the title series after their 4 p.m. clash with the Lady Tamaraws to open up the semifinals of Season 86 of the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.


UAAP SCHEDULE: Season 86 volleyball Final Four

“Our mindset after our last elimination round game (a straight sets win over Far Eastern) is this is just where the real fight begins,” Miguel said. “We have all been waiting to return to the Finals.”

National lost just one set in two games against Far Eastern and is definitely tipped as the overwhelming favorite and be in the best-of-three championship series for the third straight season. Whether that be after the Saturday game will depend a lot on how the Lady Tamaraws find a solution to the well-oiled game of the Lady Bulldogs.

Bella Belen Faida Bakanke NU Lady Bulldogs FEU Lady Tamaraws UAAP volleyball

Bella Belen (left) and Faida Bakanke will be principal figures for National U and Far Eastern, respectively. —PHOTOS BY AUGUST DELA CRUZ

And believing that it can be done is the first thing the Lady Tamaraws need to do.

“All our focus would really be on our first game,” Far Eastern coach Manolo Refugia said of Game 1. “We need to focus on our belief that we can win.”

“We know that we really came up short. At least, we experienced how it feels like battling NU,” stalwart Chenie Tagaod said in Filipino. “[In the Final Four], we will work harder and double our efforts in practice.”


Bella Belen and Alyssa Solomon remain to be one of the most formidable 1-2 punches in the tournament, and throw in Vange Alinsug and the Lady Bulldogs will be one very tough puzzle to solve, especially coming into the playoffs where their game, as Miguel said, is picking up.

Lightest foe possible

The Season 84 champ, National U, after defeats to La Salle and University of Santo Tomas in the first round, swept the second round of eliminations to top the standings and take away the prospect of needing to face either the defending champion Lady Spikers or the Golden Tigresses.


La Salle and Santo Tomas, incidentally, will be squaring off in the other half of the Final Four, with the plucky, youth-laden Tigresses owning the win-once bonus after a classic four-set win last Saturday to end the elimination round.

But even if they drew the lightest opponent possible, the Lady Bulldogs have kept their feet glued to the ground.

“We can’t relax even if we are playing well, we still need to sustain our good conditioning for the long run,” he said. “We can’t relax even if we won against [the Lady Tamaraws], we can never tell how they will perform coming into the semifinals.

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“They might prepare for something that can surprise us, so there is no reason for us to relax and be complacent,” he added.

TAGS: National University (NU)

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