Jammin’ Jaja: Leads NU’s triumph vs Ateneo

Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - March 23, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - With a dominant Jaja Santiago spearheading the attack, National U re-asserted its mastery over Ateneo, 17-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-21, 15-13, to wrest solo third in the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tourney at the Filoil Flying V Center yesterday.

Santiago punched in 25 points built around 16 attacks, eight block points and one ace as the Lady Bulldogs completed a sweep of Ateneo in the elims and picked up their seventh victory in 11 games.

The Lady Eagles had their eight-game roll snapped but remained on top of the heap at 9-2 ahead of idle La Salle (8-2).

“This is a big boost for us because it showed we can beat any team,” NU coach Roger Gorayeb, whose wards beat AdMU in four sets in the first round.

Santiago got help from Aiko Urdas, who had 12 markers, including three blocks, and Jorelle Singh, who had a big fifth-set performance on her 11-point effort.

Singh, who opened the decider with back-to-back aces, made three timely hits in a crucial stretch that gave NU a 12-9 spread.  

Jasmine Nabor had 38 excellent sets for NU.

Jho Maraguinot paced Ateneo with 18 but her attack error in the last play allowed NU to complete the come-from-behind win.

Meanwhile, University of the Philippines tripped Adamson, 25-15, 25-16, 25-20, to boost its semis chances at 6-5, half-a-game behind fourth-running UST.

Isa Molde landed six aces in a 15-point output while Kathy Bersola and Diana Carlos added 12 and 11 hits, respectively, to lead the Lady Maroons to the bounce-back win after their straight-set loss to La Salle last time.

“We’re taking it one game at a time (heading to the last three games),” said UP assistant Rald Ricafort, “This is a confidence-builder for the girls.”

The Falcons fell to 0-11.

In men’s play, streaking Ateneo racked up its 11th straight triumph at the expense of Adamson, 25-18, 25-20, 25-14.

Marck Espejo delivered with 13 points as the Eagles moved three wins away from a sweep and an outright finals stint. The Falcons slipped to 2-9.

Far Eastern improved its semis chances after taking its sixth win in 11 outings over University of the East, 25-19, 25-22, 25-13.

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