UAAP: Mutshima takes charge late, shines for NU Lady Bulldogs

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 04 2020 04:24 PM

NU's Margot Mutshima (1) fires an attack against UST's net defense. UAAP Media

MANILA, Philippines -- National University's (NU) Congolese spiker gave the UAAP fans a preview of what she is capable of after leading the Lady Bulldogs to a hard-earned victory over University of Santo Tomas (UST) on Wednesday.

In her very first game in UAAP Season 82, Margot Mutshima poured in 23 points, built on 20 kills and 3 service aces, as NU stunned last year's runner-up 22-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-20, 15-13. 

"(I'm) happy because we won," Mutshima said afterward. "We're happy."

Mutshima was at her best in the fifth set, when she scored five points including the crosscourt attack that put the Lady Bulldogs at match point, 14-11. Head coach Norman Miguel acknowledged that it took the player some time before gaining her rhythm.

"Yung game talaga ni Margot talaga, kung ano lang nangyari nung 5th set. Kasi 'yung first hanggang third, talagang off pa talaga," he said.

Miguel attributed Mutshima's struggles to their own poor passing and ball control, as the whole NU squad appeared off-kilter for the first three sets. It was their defense that helped them extend the match, as the Lady Bulldogs registed six kill blocks in the fourth frame.

"Noong fifth set nga, finally nagkone-connect na. 'Yun na talaga 'yung game ni Margot, being the go-to guy namin talaga," said Miguel.

Even as Mutshima scored the most points and took charge in the deciding frame, her coaches and teammates know that she is capable of so much more.

The player guaranteed that she will play at a higher level come NU's next game, which is against Adamson University on Sunday.

"Good," she said of her performance, before saying, "Next game."

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.