National University rallied from four points down in the fifth set to beat University of the Philippines, 25-17, 14-25, 17-25, 25-23, 17-15, sending the suddenly skidding Lady Maroons to their second straight loss Wednesday in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Princess Robles had 17 hits and 21 receptions, while Ivy Lacsina had four blocks to finish with 16 points for the Lady Bulldogs.
“Hindi ko ma-explain kung ano ang nangyari sa game. Tiyaga lang talaga,” said a relieved coach Norman Miguel after NU finished the match by scoring seven of the last eight points to rose at 2-4 in sixth place.
Earlier, Bea de Leon played her best game of the season as Ateneo solidified its hold on the top spot with a 25-8, 22-25, 25-16, 25-10 conquest of Adamson University.
Lacsina put the Lady Bulldogs to match point twice before fellow rookie Geli Luceño provided the finishing touches with a big block on Tots Carlos.
It was a heartbreaking loss for UP, which failed to deliver the dagger after reaching match point, 14-10, on an Aie Gannaban block on Audrey Paran.
The Lady Eagles, who still looked sharp despite having a couple of days’ rest after beating the Lady Maroons in straight sets, improved to a 5-1 card.
Carlos and Justine Dorog each scored 15 hits for UP, which remained in fifth spot with a 3-3 card.
In the men’s division, Bryan Bagunas scored 18 hits as titleholder NU kept within distance of undefeated FEU with a 25-19, 25-17, 25-15 dismantling of winless UP, while Ateneo, behind Tony Koyfman’s 14 kills, moved to solo third at 4-2 following a 25-18, 25-22, 25-21 romp of Adamson University.
After leading 4-0 to start the match, the error-filled Lady Falcons vanished into thin air, scoring only four points the rest of the opening set that allowed the Lady Eagles to gain upperhand.
Adamson University was able to level in the second frame with its rock-solid floor defense, but Ateneo regrouped and dominated the next two sets to stretch its winning run to five matches.
“My players really prepared for this game. We don’t want to be out of focus. Sobrang konti lang ng pahinga namin coming from last Sunday’s game. We really have to work hard right away. We have to set our goals and minddet right away after last Sunday’s game. I really admire my players for their sacrifices and their hardwork,” said Lady Eagles coach Oliver Almadro.
De Leon, the graduating Ateneo captain, had four blocks and four service aces to finish with personal season-best 14 points, a performance that the team has been longing for.
After giving De Leon a warm hug during the post-match interview, Almadro was delighted about her breakout game, saying: “About time. I really admire Bea, all of my seniors actually, and I always tell her the points will come, darating yan so basta dapat patient lang.”
Ponggay Gaston came through with a career-high 16 points, including six service aces, Kat Tolentino had four blocks for a 15-hit effort while setter Deanna Wong tossed in 29 excellent sets, collected 18 digs to go with four points for the Lady Eagles.
Eli Soyud had 13 markers for the Lady Falcons, who threw away 35 points from errors.
Adamson University fell in a tie with idle University of the East at 1-5.