National University (NU) threw the full weight of its might and overpowered Ateneo for the second straight time, bagging the Shakey’s V-League Season 12 Collegiate Conference crown via an emphatic 25-21, 26-24, 25-19 victory in sudden death before a packed Sunday crowd at The Arena in San Juan City.
Four players churned out double-digit outputs to underscore the Lady Bulldogs depth with ace setter Rubie de Leon virtually having a field day flicking feeds to both flanks while at times confusing the Lady Eagles defenders with her combination plays and quick sets.
The veteran playmaker made Myla Pablo (15 hits), sisters Dindin Manabat (11) and Jaja Santiago (10), and skipper Jorelle Singh (10) look good with her virtuoso performance that included a brilliant dink in the second set.
The Lady Eagles, behind Alyssa Valdez, Bea de Leon, Amy Ahomiro and Jhoanna Maraguinot, did fight back after trailing majority of the way in all three sets, keeping the Ateneo crowd on the edge of their seats. But each time, the Lady Bulldogs had an answer coming off a huddle and went on to clinch the one-hour, 21-minute victory on a de Leon attack that sailed long.
It was NU’s second title since beating Ateneo in this conference two years ago and the first under coach Roger Gorayeb, who also handled the Lady Eagles when they dropped a 1-3 decision to the NU-mentored Edjet Mabbayad in Season 10 of the league sponsored by Shakey’s.
Pablo, a 22-year-old graduating Marketing student, bagged the Finals Most Valuable Player honors.