La Salle, NU battle for last finals slot

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De La Salle University and National University (NU) will be disputing the second finals berth in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 77 women’s volleyball do-or-die game today at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

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The rubber match is set at 4 p.m. The winner will be facing the defending champions Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles, who hold a thrice-to-beat advantage.

NU forced a deciding game against erstwhile twice-to-beat La Salle after scoring an impressive 25-20, 25-20, 25-19 straight-set victory on Wednesday.

“The players are full of confidence. I’m happy that they’re playing more solid now,” said NU head coach Roger Gorayeb.

Former Best Spiker Myla Pablo and the 6-foot-4 Jaja Santiago will be leading the frontline of the Lady Bulldogs as well as Rizza Mandapat, rookie Jorelle Singh, graduating Desiree Dadang and playmaker Jocelyn Soliven.

La Salle, on the other hand, must regain its composure as it aims to advance to the finals for the seventh straight season.

“Kailangan naming bumangon. Marami kaming dapat i-improve. Hindi pa naman tapos ang laban,” stressed La Salle team captain Ara Galang, who scored 14 points in their loss to NU.

Besides Galang, Mika Reyes, Cyd Demecillo, Desiree Cheng and setter Kim Fajardo must also play solid to stop the Lady Bulldogs.

In the men’s division, the Ateneo Blue Eagles want to make history as they guns for first title when they face NU in Game 2 of the best-of-three championship series at 2 p.m.

Ateneo won against NU also on Wednesday, 25-19, 30-28, 20-25, 25-22, for a 1-0 series lead.

Emil C. Noguera

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