UAAP: NU halts skid with bounce back win vs UP

Karl Cedrick Basco, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 01 2023 02:41 PM | Updated as of Apr 01 2023 03:30 PM

Photo from UAAP Media Bureau
Photo from UAAP Media Bureau

MANILA (UPDATED) -- Defending champions National University (NU) Lady Bulldgos snapped their two-game slide as they swept the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons in the UAAP Season 85 women's volleyball tournament. 

The Lady Bulldogs bounced back from two straight losses at the hands of De La Salle Lady Spikers with a 25-21, 27-25, 25-20 victory against the Fighting Maroons at the Araneta Coliseum Saturday. 

NU returned to the winning column for a 6-3 win-loss card for a share of third spot with the UST Golden Tigresses, while UP suffered its sixth straight defeat for a 1-8 slate.

The Fighting Maroons are now on the brink of getting eliminated for a Final Four spot and in the process, showing the door to the winless UE Lady Warriors with a 0-9 record. 

Leading the charge for the Lady Bulldogs was Bella Belen, who tallied 19 points aside from 11 receptions to avenge her scoreless outing vs UP in the first round. 

"Nilabas lang namin yung pinagtraining-an namin ang ano yung naging game plan namin against UP. Ayun po, naging successful naman. Kahit hindi pa po siya masyadong pulido, nakita naman po namin yung improvement namin from last game," Belen told the media.

Helping Belen was Cess Robles with 11 points while Alyssa Solomon had nine markers. 

NU had a solid start in the third frame with an 8-3 opening, capped by an ace of Sheena Toring. But UP slowly crawled back in the match as Nica Celis cut their deficit to two via a quick hit, 10-12. 

An error from UP made it a 15-11 lead for Lady Bulldogs before a quick 4-0 run to equalize the game at 15. 

Up 18-19, Solomon sparked another mini run for NU to create a breathing room, 23-18. An off-the-block hit Robles finished the match in straight sets. 

Alyssa Bertolano had 12 markers while Nina Ytang added 10 for the Fighting Maroons. 

The Fighting Maroons appeared to be tying the game at 1-1 as they held a 19-16 gap in second set before NU answered back to knot the score at 19 off a crosscourt spike by Belen. 

A net infraction called against Stephanie Bustrillo gave NU the lead followed by a block of Belen to Celis, 22-20. 

The Lady Bulldogs reached set point first as Robles hammered a spike but Bertolano responded with her own kill to extend the second frame, 24-all. 

Mai Sotomil’s serve went wide that handed NU a 26-25 lead before Erin Pangilinan ended the set with a denial of Nica Cabasac’s attack. 

UAAP Season 85 is streaming on iWantTFC every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, available for Premium users outside the Philippines.