National U primed up for its much-awaited duel with Ateneo as it blasted Jose Rizal U, 25-11, 25-15, 25-13, yesterday to clinch at least a playoff for the other Final Four berth in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan on Monday.
Jaja Santiago, Risa Sato, Aiko Urdas and Jorelle Singh, along with setter Jasmine Nabor, proved too much for the hapless Lady Bombers as the Lady Bulldogs cruised to the 62-minute win to stretch their win run to four in Group A.
The victory also augured well for their preparation against the Lady Eagles on Saturday in a duel for the first semis seat in their side of the two-division tournament organized by Sports Vision.
It was also NU’s second shutout win, the other against Lyceum, with the in-form Lady Bulldogs dropping just two sets in their dominant run in the season-ending conference of the league backed by Mikasa and Asics.
“Everything is starting to fall into place but we’re not yet in the semis so we have to continue to work hard,” said NU coach Babes Castillo.
At 3-1, Ateneo could force a tie for No. 1 with a victory over NU on Saturday while Far Eastern U, toting a 2-1 card, is also eyeing to finish at 4-1 with a sweep of its last two games against Jose Rizal U tomorrow and Lyceum next Monday.
Singh pumped in nine attack points and hammered in four aces, Santiago delivered 12 markers, including nine spikes, while Urdas and Sato combined for 19 points for the Lady Bulldogs.
Shola Alvarez scored five points while Karen Montojo, Dolly Versoza and Christine Ebuenga combined for only 10 hits for the ousted Lady Bombers, who fell to 0-4.
Earlier, Far Eastern U recovered from a second set defeat to beat University of the Philippines, 25-22, 23-25, 26-24, 25-14, and clinch the second semifinal berth in the men’s division.
Paul Bugaoan and Peter Quiel fired 15 hits apiece while Redijohn Paler added 13 points as the Tams joined the unbeaten Ateneo Eagles (6-0) in the Final Four with a 5-1 mark.
San Beda, meanwhile, kept its slim semis hopes alive as it repulsed St. Benilde, 25-23, 25-15, 25-22, in the other match for joint fifth with UST at 2-3, half-a-game behind fourth-running La Salle (3-3).
UP and St. Benilde are out of it all with 1-5 and 0-5 slates, respectively.