Lady Bulldogs finish strong to outlast Blue Eagles

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Lady Bulldogs finish strong to outlast Blue Eagles
NU's Vange Alinsug
UAAP Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines -- The National University Lady Bulldogs came back from a 1-2 deficit and took over in the fifth set to turn back the spirited Ateneo Blue Eagles, 25-17, 24-26, 26-28, 25-19, 15-7 Saturday evening at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

After tying the game at two sets apiece, the Lady Bulldogs started the fifth and final set on fire, going up 4-1.

Ateneo was able to cut the lead to two, 5-3 with a point by Sobe Buena.

NU then scored back-to-back-to-back points off Bella Belen and Vange Alinsug to take an 8-3 lead.

After a score by AC Miner to inch closer, 8-4, Belen, Alinsug, Chams Maaya and Arah Panique joined hands to grab an insurmountable 12-4 cushion.

Errors then helped NU grab the match point, 14-5.

A service error by Belen and an attack error by Maaya helped Ateneo inch closer.

Maaya then ended the game with a block on Lyann de Guzman, 15-7.

Belen top-scored for NU with 21 points. She also had 24 digs and 10 excellent receptions.

Alinsug added 19 markers.

After dropping the first set, Ateneo won the extended second and third sets with good performances from de Guzman, Miner and Buena.

With the Lady Bulldogs on the brink of their second straight loss, NU took a 15-13 lead in the third set thanks to an Erin Pangilinan running attack.

With a quick attack by Miner, Ateneo cut the lead to one. The Lady Bulldogs then unleashed four straight points to take a 19-14 advantage.

The Blue Eagles would not go down easily, inching to just two points, 19-21, with back-to-back points by Buena.

Maaya and Alinsug then tag-teamed the rest of the way to take the 25-19 set and force the fifth set.

"For me, the team is just recovering now... Our team is just in the process of recovering which is why their performance is like this," NU head coach Norman Miguel said.

Buena led Ateneo with 16 points. Miner added 14 markers.

NU is now holding a 1-1 win-loss record, while Ateneo dropped to its second straight loss.

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