National University (NU) guns for a three-way tie for No. 2 when it battles Far Eastern University (FEU) in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 79 women’s volleyball today at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Lady Bulldogs-Lady Tamaraws game is at 4 p.m. after the curtain-raiser match between University of Santo Tomas and Adamson University at 2 p.m.
Erstwhile unbeaten NU dropped to fourth spot following its 27-29, 16-25, 21-25 loss to reigning champion De La Salle University last Sunday.
University of the Philippines took the solo lead with a clean 4-0 slate while La Salle and last year’s runner-up Ateneo de Manila University are sharing the second place with identical 4-1 cards.
NU’s top scorer Jaja Santiago is expected to bounce back after settling for just 13 points against the Lady Spikers, who displayed impressive net defense against the 6-foot-5 middle blocker.
Coach Roger Gorayeb reminded the rest of the Lady Bulldogs not to rely too much on Santiago.
Open hitters Jorelle Singh and Aiko Urdas, middle blocker Risa Sato and utility spiker Roma Doromal must contributed in scoring department while the tandem of libero Gayle Valdez and setter Jasmine Nabor will play major role in setting up good plays.
“They are all veterans. They just need to compose themselves to come up with good results,” stressed Gorayeb.
But the Lady Bulldogs faces a dangerous Lady Tamaraws side – a team looking to improve their 2-2 win-loss card.
They are also fresh from a 25-18, 25-22, 25-27, 25-11 morale boosting win against University of the East the last time out.
The Lady Tamaraws will rely on Bernadeth Pons, Jerrili Malabanan, Remy Palma and Toni Basas.
“We just need to focus on our serves. We also need to be consistent at all times,” said FEU mentor Shaq Delos Santos.
EMIL C. NOGUERA