NU edges Ateneo in winner-take-all game for its first V-League title

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National University’s Lady Bulldogs completed their climb to women’s volleyball superstardom, winning their first ever Shakey’s V-League crown in the First Conference with a 25-23, 25-20, 17-25, 26-24 win over Ateneo’s Lady Eagles in the decider on Sunday at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

NU jumped to a 3-0 start in the first set and had an even better finishing kick with a 13-7 blast to complete their comeback from being down 17-13 in the fourth.

Eventual finals MVP Rubie de Leon led the charge for NU with 14 points on six attacks, four service aces and three blocks, including two on Ateneo guest player Rachel Anne Daquis, plus 19 excellent sets.

The do-or-die game had De Leon’s name written all over it as the veteran setter out of University of Santo Tomas controlled the offensive tempo for NU all game long.


“We needed to get that third set because we can’t win with just two sets. We did a good job coming back in the fourth,” De Leon said in Filipino.

She also had two huge blocks on Ateneo’s Daquis.

NU’s victory was a big achievement for coach Edjet Mabbayad as he bested a proven winner in Ateneo coach Roger Gorayeb.

The 26-year-old mentor wanted her team to play within their system and got his wish which eventually led to his team hoisting the trophy.

UST claimed the second-runner up trophy in the battle for third decider.

JIM WILSON

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