MANILA, Philippines - National U whisked off Philippine National Police’s gutsy stand in the opener then imposed its will in the next two to fashion out a 25-23, 25-16, 25-18 victory and get back on track after back-to-back setbacks in the Shakey’s V-League Season II Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan yesterday.
Jaja Santiago used her height and long reach to pummel the PNP defenders with 12 kills, the same number of attacks delivered by Myla Pablo, as the Lady Bulldogs rebounded strong after a pair of 0-3 defeats to powerhouse Army and defending champion Cagayan.
“We made defensive adjustments in the second set that’s why the complexion of the game changed,” said NU coach Ariel dela Cruz.
Santiago finished with 18 hits, including three blocks and the same number of aces, while setter Ivy Perez also came through with three blocks for a five-point output for the Lady Bulldgos, who evened their card at 2-2 and stayed on track for the quarterfinal stage.
The Lady Patrollers, led by Frances Molina’s 15 hits, fell to 0-5 and on the brink of elimination in the mid-season conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s.
Ateneo survived a surprisingly tough University of the Philippines side and needed to regroup in the decider to pound out a 25-15, 24-26, 25-21, 21-25, 15-11 victory in the second game.
Scoring leader Alyssa Valdez continued to pour in the points, this time firing 31 hits, including 28 kills, to lead the Lady Eagles to joint fifth with the Lady Bulldogs heading to the final week of the single round robin eliminations of the league backed by Mikasa and Accel.
But the Lady Maroons proved to be a big revelation as they put up a tough stand and dragged the reigning UAAP women’s volley champions to a thrilling finish.
They, however, still fell short of their bid to nail the elusive win in the league where in all started.
Nicole Tiamzon fired 21 points, Katherine Bersola unleashed a 19-hit effort and Pauline Araneta added 10 markers to practically negate Valdez’s output in a match between the Katipunan-based schools that was close throughout.
But Michelle Morente chipped in 16 points and Miren Gequillana, Amy Ahomiro and Bea de Leon stepped up and pooled 23 points for the Lady Eagles, who failed to finish off their rivals in the fourth.
Valdez, Morente and the rest of the Lady Eagles put their act together and showed grace under pressure in the decider to frustrate the Lady Maroons.
The loss was UP’s fifth straight, dropping the Maroons to last place with the Patrollers.
Meanwhile, NU’s victory primed up the Bustillos-based squad as it braces for a tough outing against PLDT Home Telpad at resumpt of action tomorrow with the Power Boosters raring to atone for their straight-set loss to the unbeaten Philippine Army Lady Troopers last Thursday.
Though PNP produced 32 kills against NU’s 37, the Lady Patrollers drew just 12 excellent sets from Jane Ticar, limiting the team’s scoring chances off the spike a bit. In contrast, Perez made 25 excellent sets that led to a number hits from Santiago and Pablo.
Jane Mandapat also chipped eight markers, Jorelle Singh and Perez each had five points and skipper Desiree Dadang added four hits for NU, seeking a follow-up to its First Conference win in Season 10.
NU’s defense also held Jane Maderazo to just eight markers while Charisse Perez and Michell Datuin combined for 11 points for PNP.