Philippine volleyball

NU fends off UST, marches to Super League finals 

Philip Matel
NU fends off UST, marches to Super League finals 

ON TARGET. NU star Bella Belen evades the defense of UST's Regina Jurado.

SSL

The NU Lady Bulldogs cruise to the title round as the reigning UAAP volleyball champions stay unbeaten in the preseason tournament

MANILA, Philippines – National University moved on to the finals of the Shakey’s Super League Collegiate Pre-season Championship after blasting University of Santo Tomas, 25-23, 23-25, 25-21, 25-17, at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum on Friday, November 11.

NU will face the winner of the La Salle-Adamson contest in the winner-take-all championship game on Saturday, November 19, 6:30 p.m., at the same venue.

The Lady Bulldogs, the reigning UAAP volleyball queens, fended off a rookie-laden squad by banking on their championship experience, thus extending their immaculate record to 7-0.

Bella Belen poured in 24 points, while Alyssa Solomon fired 19 markers to lead NU. Princess Robles and Eri Pangilinan also scored 15 apiece.

After faltering in the second set where they blew a four-point lead, the Lady Bulldogs regained the driver’s seat late in the final frame, where their lead was at its biggest.

Back-to-back errors from UST gave NU match point, where Bella Belen’s crosscourt hit sealed the deal for the UAAP defending champions.

“I just reminded the team to work harder, that we can’t afford to give UST momentum and their young players to gain confidence,” said NU coach Karl Dimaculangan.

“I think it’s also a big advantage that we have experienced players that know what to do in tight situations,” he added.   

For UST, which was relegated to the classification round, its offense was paced by rookies Xyza Gula and Angeli Abellana, who contributed a combined 41 for coach Kung Fu Reyes.

Earlier, University of the Philippines averted disaster and survived Far Eastern University in five sets,  26-24, 28-26, 27-29, 22-25, 15-8, to advance to the battle for fifth in the classification round.

The Fighting Maroons almost blew a two-set lead, and leaned on a favorable performance in the fifth set to pull away from their opponents.

Nina Ytang top scored for UP with 18 points, while Joan Monares and Stephanie Bustrillo chipped in 17 and 10 markers, respectively.

FEU, which lost its fifth straight contest, was led by Jean Asis’ 16 points, while Mitzi Panangin and Jovelyn Fernandez contributed 14 apiece.

The Maroons will face the winner of the Ateneo-Perpetual classification duel. – Rappler.com

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