Posted Feb 16th 2014
Lady Bulldogs feast on Tigresses
By Anthony Divinagracia Posted Jan 4th 2014
National University (NU) hardly broke a sweat to claim its first win of the year on Saturday, making bonemeal out of a listless University of Santo Tomas (UST) side in the 76th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the San Juan Arena.
As expected, the favoured Lady Bulldogs clobbered the undersized Tigresses over the net to score a trouble-free 25-18, 25-13, 25-21 victory and remain tied with Ateneo de Manila University for second place at 4-1.
Dindin Santiago again imposed her towering frame up top, finishing with a game-high 19 points including 16 hits while Mina Aganon added 14 to keep UST bay, especially in the crucial third set where the Tigresses threatened to extend the game.
“I always tell them not to give our opponents any chance to recover. If we can finish them in three sets then let’s do it. It’s always hard to underestimate your opponent,” NU coach Edjet Mabbayad said in Filipino. “If we give them a chance, then they’ll take it to beat us.”
Buoyed by a 2-0 set lead, the Lady Bulldogs looked headed for a cakewalk in the final canto after erecting a 9-4 advantage with the elder Santiago and Aganon upfront.
Yet the Tigresses slowly clawed back behind Pam Lastimosa and rookie Chloe Cortez, who nailed back-to-back hits to knot the count at 17-all.
The Lady Bulldogs then responded with three straight points to regain the upperhand before Santiago’s forays at the turn made it a 23-20 affair for NU. Aganon blocked Carmela Tunay in the next play to set up match point. Pam Lastimosa completed NU’s sweep with a net error off a foiled attempt.
In the first set, the Lady Bulldogs dusted off the Tigresses’ holiday rust to sit on a commanding 16-8 bubble for good.
Jaja Santiago joined her elder sister Dindin, Aganon and Myla Pablo in the second set, propelling NU to an insurmountable 20-11 against UST’s sporadic blocking.
Pablo and Aiko Urdas had nine points each while the younger Santiago chipped in six for NU which overwhelmed UST in attacks, 48-27.
Lastimosa tallied 12 markers to pace UST which fell to 2-3.