UAAP finalists NU, UST off to contrasting starts in Super League

UAAP finalists NU, UST off to contrasting starts in Super League

/ 10:18 PM July 10, 2024

Bella Belen NU Lady Bulldogs Shakey's Super League (SSL)

NU’s Bella Belen during a game against Enderun Colleges in the Shakey’s Super League.–SSL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — UAAP champion National University and runner-up University of Santo Tomas kicked off their 2024 Shakey’s Super League (SSL) National Invitationals in contrasting fashion on Wednesday at Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

The Lady Bulldogs, who barely played their star players, banked on Vange Alinsug and Kaye Bombita to open their Pool A stint with a 25-19, 25-15, 25-16 rout of Enderun Colleges.

With Bella Belen, Arah Panique, and Sheena Toring playing sparingly, Alinsug led the balanced attack of NU with 14 points, while Bombita stepped up with 10 points.

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Celine Marsh, an incoming UAAP rookie from Nazareth School, debuted for the Lady Bulldogs with eight points, seven from the second set, coming off the bench.

“We’re happy with our first win since our goal for this tournament is to gain experience and exposure for other players, especially our rookies,” NU coach Norman Miguel said in Filipino. “I saw how the seniors led the newcomers. Hopefully, we can sustain our good performance and reach the finals.

NU, which hasn’t lost a game in the SSL after ruling the past two preseason tournaments, can secure a spot in the knockout quarterfinals with another victory over Xavier University-Northern Mindanao Selection on Friday.

Belen and Panique will not be able to finish the tournament as they join Alas Pilipinas in its Japan training camp.   

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“Since the national team members will leave for their Japan camp, we have to work on the connection of other players, aside from technical skills,” Miguel said.

READ: NU Lady Bulldogs perfect again for second Super League crown

UST, which fielded new players, suffered a tough five-set stunner to the University of Batangas, which hung tight to pull off a 25-16, 28-26, 17-25, 17-25, 18-16 stunner in Pool B.

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UB blew a two-set lead but Kylie Macatangay kept her team afloat and delivered 21 points built on 17 attacks and four aces to upset the UAAP silver medalist and tournament’s reigning third placer.

Riza Drice also stepped up with 13 points, while Jenelyn Jacob and Crisel Ann Bando added 12 and 11 points, respectively.

The Tigresses, who didn’t field Detdet Pepito, Angge Poyos, Cassie Carballo, Reg Jurado, and Jonna Perdido, banked on rookie Marget Altea leading the way with 17 points including three blocks. Kyla Cordora and main team member Mae Coronado added 14 and 10 points, respectively.

Meanwhile, Far Eastern University dominated CESAFI champion University of Southern Philippines Foundation, 25-13, 25-15, 25-17, in Pool C.

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In Pool D, NCAA runner-up Letran swept the University of San Carlos, 25-22, 25-14, 25-12, behind the duo of Nizelle Martin and Lea Tapang, who scored 10 points each.

TAGS: NU Lady Bulldogs, Shakey's Super League, UST Tigresses

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