Lady Bulldogs halt Tigresses, keep lead

Ateneo’s Jhoana Maraguinot fires away a kill against Arielle Estranero of UP during their UAAP volleyball clash at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan. Joven Cagande

Lady Bulldogs halt Tigresses, keep lead

Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - February 26, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — National U bucked a second-set meltdown and outsteadied Santo Tomas in an exciting endgame to keep its clean record in UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball via a 25-19, 14-25, 25-19, 28-26 victory yesterday at Filoil Flying V Center. 

Jaja Santiago took charge in the fourth frame as the Lady Bulldogs clawed back from a 3-8 deficit and saved set point before finishing off the pesky Tigresses for their fifth straight win. 

“We’re gaining a lot from our strength and trust in one another,” said Santiago, who finished with 19 points with five digs. 

Santiago levelled it at 26-all before NU reached match point on an attack error by UST’s Ma. Cecilia Bangad and Raisa Sato clinched it with a block on Sisi Rondina.

Jasmine Nabor had 32 excellent sets in another fine playmaking effort for NU, which also drew 10 from Aiko Urdas. 

Despite NU’s scheme to slow her down, Rondina piled up 25 as UST dropped to 2-3.

Earlier, Ateneo soared to its fourth consecutive victory and grabbed a share of second spot after disposing of skidding University of the Philippines, 25-20, 25-22, 28-26.

Jules Samonte topscored with 15 as Jho Maraguinot (11), Maddie Madayag (nine) and Bea de Leon (nine) provided support and Deanna Wong tossed all but one of AdMU’s 34 excellent sets as the Lady Eagles continued their winning ways after an 0-2 start and joined idle La Salle at No. 2.

“Being in actual games was really a big help for us (in terms of gelling) and every game is a learning experience,” said De Leon. “After the 0-2 start, really, there’s no way but up. And with the encouragement of our coaches and teammates, we found our way up.”

Tots Carlos (20) and Isa Molde (16) paced the Lady Maroons, whose skid extended to four after hurdling their opening-day assignment. 

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