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Sports

UP belles send skiddin’ Lady Bulldogs to 5th in row

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star
UP belles send skiddinâ Lady Bulldogs to 5th in row

MANILA, Philippines — A determined University of the Philippines pounded on the National U’s Lady Bulldogs who have seemingly lost their bite in the second round, hammering out a 25-18, 25-22, 25-20 reversal to keep its hopes for the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball Final Four alive last night at Filoil Flying V Center.

The Lady Maroons capitalized on Lady Bulldogs’ woeful reception (28 percent) to land 34 attack points – 10 more than NU’s output – and 12 service aces – twice the latter’s tally – to score their fourth win in 12 matches.

NU, the most dominant team in the first round with a 6-1 mark, continued its freefall and suffered its fifth consecutive setback for 6-6 overall.

Earlier, pushed to the limit for the second game in a row, Ateneo again proved up to the challenge and responded big time to rally past University of Santo Tomas, 25-22, 20-25, 16-25, 25-17, 15-9, and formalize its entry into the semis.

Tots Carlos led the way for UP with 18 points built around 14 hits and four aces, as Isa Molde chipped in 10 with 16 excellent digs and four excellent receptions. The Lady Maroons stayed in the hunt while adding to the woes of floundering NU.

“For us it’s really about finishing the season strong. Regardless of what happens, we need to finish strong,” said UP coach Godfrey Okumu.

The Lady Bulldogs are in an exact opposite of what they were in the first half, where they swept their first five games. Yet to win in the second round, the NU belles find their semis bid in jeopardy.

Just like in their five-set win over Adamson before the Holy Week break, the Lady Eagles clawed back from a 1-2 set deficit and showed their composure in the nerve-wracking race to the finish to rack up their fifth consecutive triumph and 9-3 overall and reach the post-season for the ninth straight season.

Kat Tolentino punched in 21 points, including four in the deciding set highlighted by the clinching service ace, while Jho Maraguinot added 19 markers plus eight excellent digs, to power AdMU to a followup to its hard-earned 24-26, 25-19, 21-25, 26-24, 15-12 thriller over AdU last March 25.

NATIONAL U

UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES

VOLLEYBALL

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