The NU Lady Bulldogs are back on track after devouring the skidding UST Lady Tigresses, 25-21, 29-27, 25-13, in the quarterfinals of the 13th Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference on Monday.
NU, the defending champion, handed UST its third straight loss of the tournament and the first in the second round at the PhilSports Arena, just two days after bowing to Ateneo.
The Tigresses fought a gallant stand in the second set, orchestrating a 9-0 rally to tie the game at 21, before eventually forcing a deuce, 24-24.
But the Lady Bulldogs hung tight to survive three UST set-points and capitalized on Maji Mangulabnan’s service error at 27-all as Aiko Urdas and Jaja Santiago pulled out the exclamation point to give NU a 2-0 set lead.
“Nakita na naman namin yung ganung attitude na yung players yung nagre-relax kasi ang laki ng lamang namin, pero ang bilis hinabol and hindi kami naka-recover agad masyado. Naging late yung pagpigil kaya ganun yung naging result,” assistant head coach Edjet Mabbayad said in a post-game interview.
“Kahit papano, malaking pang-boost ng morale ito, siyempre galing kami sa talo.”
Best player of the game, Jorelle Singh scored 14 points, 13 from attacks while Santiago and Urdas added 11 and 15, respectively.
Guest player and high school sensation Eya Laure topscored for UST with 15 points but no other Tigress scored more than 5.
Meanwhile, UST’s chances of breaking into the semifinals got dimmer as they fell, 0-3 with only two games remaining.
Since the league started, the Golden Tigresses have always been a Final Four contender, but no thanks to a depleted lineup and a poor showing this season, the record may be broken this year. – John Chester Fajardo