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Santiago sisters propel NU past UP

By Josiah Albelda Posted Jan 8th 2014

National University relied on Dindin Santiago once again as the Lady Bulldogs earned their third straight victory.

National University overpowered University of the Philippines in straight sets in the 76th UAAP women's volleyball tournament Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

Flaunting a taller and more talented roster, the Lady Bulldogs wasted no time in burying the Lady Maroons in a 25-17, 25-22, 25-14 whipping.

Top MVP contender Dindin Santiago spearheaded NU's attack, running away with 11 kills, four blocks and an ace as the Sampaloc-based squad notched their fifth win in six outings.

The elder Santiago also had five digs while younger sister Jaja and Season 75 Rookie of the Year Aiko Urdas chipped in with 13 and 10 markers, respectively.

The Lady Bulldogs scored their third consecutive victory and improved to 5-1, right behind league-leading De La Salle University.

"Dapat tapusin agad para wala na silang pagkakataong dumikit," said first-year coach Edjet Mabbayad of his wards, who had a habit of allowing opponents to go neck-and-neck with them before pulling away late in sets.

NU displayed just that, racing to a 19-5 advantage in the first set that proved to be more than enough even with a mid-set meltdown.

Mina Aganon and Myla Pablo combined for 14 points as the Lady Bulldogs fired a total of 45 kills.

Skipper Angeli Araneta top scored for UP with nine points while Kathy Bersola and rookie Sheeka Espinosa had seven markers apiece.

The loss sent the Lady Maroons to solo eighth with an appalling 0-6 record.