CURRENTLY stuck in a three-way logjam for third place in the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament, the National University Lady (NU) Bulldogs are eyeing an important victory over the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws as the two teams clash tomorrow in the main game at 4 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Sporting a 7-5 record, similar to that of the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses and University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons, NU is looking to break away from the group and give its Final Four push a boost.
The Lady Bulldogs had their chance to avoid being tied up in the standings in their last game but were not able to secure a key win over UP, losing in four sets, 25-14, 25-27, 25-21 and 25-12.
Top-scorer Jaja Santiago and Aiko Urdas tried to tow their team to the victory with 18 and 12 points, respectively, but collectively the Lady Bulldogs were outplayed by the Lady Maroons, which had five players scoring in double digits.
The loss failed to sustain for NU, which played sans coach Roger Gorayeb against UP for personal reasons, its huge five-sets victory over league-leading Ateneo Lady Eagles previously.
NO EASY OPPONENT
Out to derail NU’s mission are the Lady Tamaraws (6-6), a team still fighting for a playoff spot and should not be an easy opponent.
FEU kept its Final Four hopes alive with a straight-sets win over the already-eliminated University of the East (UE) Lady Warriors, 25-14, 25-18 and 27-25, last Wednesday.
Bernadeth Pons and Jeanette Villareal showed the way for the Lady Tamaraws in the win, each scoring 11 points.
Veteran Remy Palma added nine for FEU while setter Gel Cayuna had 13 excellent sets to go along with three points.
The win kept the Lady Tamaraws, which need to sweep their remaining games, in contention for one of the two remaining semifinal spots in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season.
“We still have a tough road ahead of us. We will just do our best and take it one game at a time. Our focus now is the NU game and we will come in prepared for that match,” said FEU coach Shaq Delos Santos after their win over UE.
Meanwhile, in the first game at 2 p.m., the winless Adamson Lady Falcons (0-12) try to finally notch that elusive first victory of the season against the defending champions De La Salle Lady Spikers (10-2).