Lady Bulldogs, Blue Eagles eye bounce-back wins

John Bryan Ulanday - Philstar.com
Lady Bulldogs, Blue Eagles eye bounce-back wins
NU's Bella Belen
UAAP Media Bureau

Games Saturday
(Mall of Asia Arena)
10 a.m. – Adu vs UP (men’s)
12 p.m. – NU v ADMU (men’s)
2 p.m. – AdU vs UP (women’s)
4 p.m. – NU vs ADMU (women’s)

MANILA, Philippines – Opening-day losers want no less than a big rebound although against each other as they try to barge into the winner’s circle of the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

National University, after a shocking straight-sets defeat to University of Santo Tomas, collides with the rebuilding Ateneo in the main event at 4 p.m. following the duel between Adamson and the University of the Philippines at 2 p.m.

The Lady Bulldogs, finalists of the last two seasons and parading an almost intact core this season, bowed to the Golden Tigresses, 19-25, 23-25, 22-25, for a flat start to their redemption campaign after losing the throne to La Salle in Season 85.

The Blue Eagles, for their part, succumbed to the UE Lady Warriors, 25-20, 18-25, 23-25, 18-25, for the first time in 14 years while the Lady Falcons and the Fighting Maroons fell to the La Salle Lady Spikers and the Far Eastern U Lady Tamaraws, respectively, in straight sets as well.

All four teams fielded new coaches at their disposal with Norman Miguel returning to the Lady Bulldogs’ turf, in lieu of now deputy Karl Dimaculangan.

Ateneo is led by Philippine men’s team head coach Sergio Veloso from Brazil in place of Oliver Almadro, who is now with UP as JP Yude takes the reins in Adamson to succeed Jerry Yee, now with UE.

Only two coaches will finally taste their first win after Saturday’s matches that serve as a prelude to the anticipated clash of reigning champion La Salle and UST, with identical 2-0 slates, for the early UAAP leadership Sunday.

But aside from the NU women’s team, the three-time men's champions Bulldogs are also out for a quick redemption after seeing their 34-game, five-year win streak end at the hands of the Golden Spikers in straight sets.

“Nanghihinayang kami sa talo pero trinabaho ng UST iyon. Wake-up call ito sa amin,” said coach Dante Alinsunurin as his wards spike for vengeance against the Blue Eagles (1-0) at 12 noon.

“Hindi naman lahat ng bagay, maibibigay ng madali. Pagtatrabahuhan uli namin kung paano kami nagsimula noong 2019 after an opening-day loss to FEU. Ituloy lang namin trabaho namin at kalimutan na ‘yung nangyari.”

NU will still be without ace player Michaelo Buddin, the Season 85 2nd Best Outside Spiker, due to a thumb injury. 

Meanwhile at 10 a.m., Adamson (0-1) and UP (0-1) also shoot for the first win.

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