NU ‘no intention’ to shatter UP’s Final Four hopes
MANILA, Philippines – The young National University (NU) squad may have shattered the Final Four hopes of preseason favorite University of the Philippines, but the Lady Bulldogs claimed they have no intention to meddle in UP’s playoff run.
The Lady Bulldogs said they're just hoping to finish their "roller-coaster" UAAP women's volleyball season on a high note.
"Ang sa amin lang talaga, purely i-end namin yung last two games namin nang may magandang performance, yung panalo talaga. Pero hindi para i-oust yung UP dun sa [Final Four], hindi naman. [It] never crossed our minds na maging ganoon," said NU coach Norman Miguel after the eliminated Lady Bulldogs improved to 4-9.
(We want to end our last two games with a good performance. It never crossed our minds to oust UP.)
UP tried to stage a comeback after being down 0-2 against the shorthanded NU, but eventually failed to capitalize in the closely contested 5th set.
NU bounced back from being down 14-15 and took over in the final moments of the game with their outstanding floor defense that led to a 3-0 run.
"Lagi lang nasa isip ko na kung sino lang ang mas gusto manalo, mas mananalo," said rookie libero Jennifer Nierva, who received the Player of the Game honor with her remarkable output of 30 excellent digs and 27 excellent receptions. "So, ginusto talaga namin manalo today. Kaya siguro nakauha namin [yung panalo]."
(I always think that whoever wants to win more will win. We just did that, and we actually won the game.)
“Basta ‘yung mindset lang namin every game is to give our best talaga. It was a great game talaga na iyan nga sabi ni coach, may na-gain ulit kami ng other character, mas naging matibay kami as a player.”
(Our mindset every game is to give our best. It was a great game, we discovered another character in us and we became tougher as players.)
The Lady Bulldogs also found additional supporters as the Far Eastern University (FEU) and University of Santo Tomas (UST) crowd roared in the final frame of the game.
Moreover, the Lady Bulldogs admitted the crowd boosted NU’s morale in the deciding moments of their match.
"Actually, nakakahype s’ya," said Nierva. "Parang mas gusto mo lalo manalo kasi lahat ng crowd nasa inyo na eh. So parang sabi ko talaga nung last [set], amin ‘to."
(We’re hyped up. We wanted to win because the crowd is cheering for us. That’s why in the last set, I said that this game is ours.)
The UP loss finalized the Final Four cast with FEU and UST joining league leaders and rivals Ateneo and La Salle. – Leigh Nald Cabildo/Rappler.com