UAAP Volleyball

On-fire NU not taking twice-to-beat bonus for granted after UAAP 2nd-round sweep

Philip Matel

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On-fire NU not taking twice-to-beat bonus for granted after UAAP 2nd-round sweep

SURPRISE. NU spiker Bella Belen reacts in the UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball tournament

UAAP Season 86 Media Team

Former UAAP women's volleyball champion NU seizes the first twice-to-beat Final Four bonus, and does not intend to waste it after a 7-0 second-round elimination sweep

MANILA, Philippines – Peaking when it matters.

After stumbling through the first round of the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament, the NU Lady Bulldogs breezed through the second with a 7-0 sweep, capped off with a methodical 25-21, 25-19, 25-22 sweep against fellow playoff contender FEU Lady Tamaraws to claim the first semifinal bonus.

“For me, modesty aside, I think we’re having the right timing, we’re just coinciding with the rise in our performance but we must not be complacent,” NU head coach Norman Miguel said after the game.

“We must take care, until we can sustain our great condition, not only in terms of skills, but in terms of peak physical form, that’s what we need to maintain, and we hope to sustain,” he added.

NU saw four of its players score in double figures, led by Alyssa Solomon’s 13 point built on 12 attacks and a block, as well as eight excellent digs.

UAAP MVP contender Bella Belen followed it up with 12, all stemming from attacks, while libero Shaira Jardio had 11 excellent digs.

Lams Lamina distributed well with 14 excellent sets, while Vange Alinsug chipped in 11 for last year’s runners-up.

Ending the eliminations on top with a 12-2 record, the Lady Bulldogs will enjoy a Final Four twice-to-beat advantage against No. 4 FEU.

Meanwhile, the La Salle-UST match on the last day of eliminations on Saturday, April 27, will be a winner-take-all duel for the No. 2 spot that comes with the last twice-to-beat bonus as both hold an 11-2 record.

“Having a twice-to-beat advantage lightens the mood but as what coach said, we cannot be forced to use that twice-to-beat advantage,” Belen said after the game.

“We need to wrap it up in the first game, go all-out despite having that advantage and we should not go there,” she added.

Rookie Faida Bakanke led FEU with 14 markers, as the Lady Tamaraws face the possibility of facing NU once again in the Final Four.

The loss also saw FEU snap its five-game win streak , which was jumpstarted by the Lady Tamaraws’ huge upset victory against then-frontrunner UST. –

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