Lady Bulldogs go for kill vs Golden Tigresses

John Bryan Ulanday - Philstar.com
Lady Bulldogs go for kill vs Golden Tigresses
“Ang mindset namin is kailangan tapusin na namin sa Game 2. Kailangan hindi na namin paabutin ng do-or-die pa,” said Bella Belen.
UAAP Media Bureau

Games Wednesday
(Mall of Asia Arena)
2 p.m. – UST vs NU (Men's Finals)
4 p.m. – NU vs UST (Women's Finals)

MANILA, Philippines – A historic double crown is here for National University’s taking.

And without an inch of hesitation, the Bulldogs and the Lady Bulldogs shoot for the kill against their University of Santo Tomas counterparts in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 86 volleyball finals Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The NU spikers raided the Tigers’ lair with convincing victories in the opener of the best-of-three rumble and want no let-up in a bid to finish them off altogether for their first volleyball twin title in school history.

The Bulldogs, who scored a 25-17, 26-24, 25-19 win to zero in on a four-peat, get a crack at it at 2 p.m. followed by the Lady Bulldogs’ bid for their second title in three years at 4 p.m. on the heels of a 25-23, 25-20, 25-20 Game 1 win.

NU was anticipated to be in a dogfight against the young Golden Tigresses in their first finals appearance in five years and the hungry Golden Spikers in a finale return trip after a runner-up finish last season before turning their first encounter to a bloodbath.

Simply put, the championship pedigree and the proven experience of the Lady Bulldogs and the Bulldogs spelled the major difference that they will utilize once again in a potential clincher.

“Ang mindset namin is kailangan tapusin na namin sa Game 2. Kailangan hindi na namin paabutin ng do-or-die pa,” said Bella Belen, the UAAP MVP when NU snapped a 65-year title drought two season ago before a bridesmaid finish to La Salle last time out.

“Huwag na kami maghanap ng challenge. Hanggat kaya naming tapusin ng Game 2, tapusin na namin.”

It’s the same mentality for the Bulldogs, who have been the barometer of collegiate men’s volleyball with their ninth straight finals appearance and a chance for a fourth straight title.

“After ng pandemic, naka-focus na talaga kami sa goal namin na madomina namin yung volleyball dito sa UAAP. Ang mindset lang is hindi kami pwedeng mag-relax sa mga ganitong sitwasyon,” said coach Dante Alinsunurin, out for payback after a runner-up finish with Choco Mucho in the PVL.

But NU’s plans of a victory march will not be met unopposed, with UST spikers vowing to wage an all-out retaliation to force a pair of winner-take-all duels. 

Even if that means for the Golden Tigresses braving on to war with or without top soldier Angeline Poyos, whose status remains up in the air after going down with a right ankle injury in Game 1.

“Hindi dapat mawala ‘yung character na meron kami at isang bilin namin, walang nanalo ng isang panalo sa larong best-of-3. Kailangan lang namin makabalik,” said coach Kungfu Reyes, rallying his wards to treat Poyos’ injury as an added fuel.

Expect the Golden Spikers to display the same battle cry.

“I will challenge the players to wake up and have a sense of urgency. We will give our best. We will play our best,” said coach Odjie Mamon with reigning MVP Josh Ybañez and Gboy de Vega leading the way.

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