UAAP: La Salle tries to end NU's perfect start in women's volleyball

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 26 2022 06:13 AM

De La Salle middle blocker Thea Gagate attacks against the double-block of National University in their UAAP Season 84 first round match. UAAP Media.
De La Salle middle blocker Thea Gagate attacks against the double-block of National University in their UAAP Season 84 first round match. UAAP Media.

MANILA, Philippines -- De La Salle University will aim to be the first team to defeat National University (NU) as the second round of the UAAP Season 84 women's volleyball tournament fires off on Thursday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The showdown between the unbeaten Lady Bulldogs (7-0) and the Lady Spikers (5-2) cap off the quadruple header, with the first serve scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

For the Lady Spikers, it will be an opportunity to claim a fourth straight win while also bouncing back from a shocking defeat to NU in the first round. What was billed as a potential preview of the finals instead turned into a showcase of the Lady Bulldogs' firepower, as they swept La Salle 25-22, 25-15, 25-19.

"'Yung sa first round against NU, medyo off talaga tayo," admitted La Salle assistant coach Benson Bocboc.

The Lady Spikers got more points off NU's errors (26) than their own offense (22). They had no answer for NU's scoring, either, as the Lady Bulldogs uncorked 40 kills in the match.

It took NU just an hour and 34 minutes to complete the comprehensive victory.

But with an entire round's worth of games to scout and a week to prepare for their rematch, the Lady Spikers are hopeful that they can reverse the result.

"Maghahanda tayo," Bocboc said. "Hopefully better than the last encounter."

The Lady Bulldogs, meanwhile, are bracing for teams to put up a tougher front in the second round after cruising through the first. NU lost just two sets in the first round of the tournament.

"Hindi namin in-expect 'yung situation namin ngayon," said NU coach Karl Dimaculangan after they swept the first round. "Basta ang naging focus lang kasi ng team namin talaga is one game at a time."

Dimaculangan hopes to again get another balanced effort from his players, as they did in the first round against La Salle where three Lady Bulldogs reached double-digits in scoring. 

On the other end, they look to neutralize the La Salle attack anew. In the first round, only rookie Alleiah Malaluan scored in double digits with 10 points; veteran Jolina dela Cruz had just eight.

Opening the day's slate is Adamson University (4-3) vs. University of Santo Tomas (5-2), in a rematch of a five-set thriller last May 17.

Both the Lady Falcons and the Golden Tigresses are coming off victories, although UST will gain further confidence from their 12-25, 25-19, 25-22, 18-25, 15-9 win against Adamson in round 1.

First serve is at 10 a.m.

At 12:30 p.m., it will be the University of the Philippines (3-4) against the University of the East (0-7) in a battle of two slumping teams. 

At 4 p.m., defending champion Ateneo de Manila University (3-4) will try to bounce back as well when they take on Far Eastern University (1-6).