Lady Bulldogs smother Maroons, stay on top

National U’s Risa Sato (right) unloads a hard spike against UP’s Maris Layug during their UAAP volleyball clash at the Filoil Flying V Center. Miguel De Guzman

Lady Bulldogs smother Maroons, stay on top

Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - March 5, 2018 - 12:00am

Warriors end long skid, stun Falcons

MANILA, Philippines — Picking itself up following a shock loss in its previous game, National U dispatched University of the Philippines, 25-23, 25-23, 25-17, to regain its winning ways and stay on top halfway through the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan yesterday.

Jaja Santiago punched in 17 hits while Risa Sato added 10 markers and Jasmine Nabor tossed 32 excellent sets as the Lady Bulldogs atoned for their 22-25, 27-25, 13-25, 20-25 setback to the Far Eastern U Lady Tams four days before and remained at No. 1 with a 6-1 card after the first round elims.

University of the East later grabbed a share of the limelight as it upstaged Adamson in a five-set thriller, 25-22, 22-25, 14-25, 25-20, 15-11, to break through with its first win after a 0-6 start and snap a 13-game losing skid dating back to last season’s first round.

“After we lost (to FEU), we moved on right away and reset our attitude. Before this game started, we told ourselves this has to be a statement game,” said NU coach Babes Castillo, whose wards topped the first round for the first time in the Final Four era.

“Today we’ll celebrate because it’s our first time to be ranked one. We’re celebrating but we’re not really happy with the way we played; we have a lot more to work on and improve on.”

NU survived a late scare in the first two sets but pretty much stamped its class in the third, where it stormed to a 21-14 cushion en route to the bounce-back win.

Tots Carlos, who logged a season-high 32 in UP’s victory over Santo Tomas last Wednesday, finished with 15 this time for the Lady Maroons who ended the first round with 2-5.

The Lady Warriors, meanwhile, averted a winless stint by giving giant killer Adamson – victor over champ La Salle in its previous outing – a dose of its own medicine.

“They had a good training, they had good aura, they performed all the skill set. I told them if they play this way on Sunday, we will win. And we did,” said UE interim mentor Rod Roque.

Shaya Adorador scored seven points in the fifth set as UE tightened the noose on the Lady Falcons and completed the reversal.

In men’s play, NU Bulldogs raced to their fifth straight win via a 25-22, 23-25, 25-19, 25-23 verdict over the UP Maroons to finish with 6-1 overall in a triple tie with FEU and holder Ateneo while the Falcons dominated winless UE Warriors, 25-16, 25-18, 25-12, for a 2-5 mark.

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