National University (NU) dominated St. Benilde in all three sets and came away with a 25-19, 25-21, 25-18 victory to earn at least a playoff for the last semifinal berth in the Shakey’s V-League Season 12 Collegiate Conference at The Arena in San Juan on Sunday.
The 71-minute NU romp actually tied the Lady Bulldogs with the UST Tigresses at second at 4-1 but the former UAAP champions will still face two of the league’s fancied squads for their final two matches in the single round, carryover quarterfinal phase of the league presented by PLDT Home Ultera.
Far Eastern University proved more unforgiving, disposing of La Salle-Dasmariñas in just 59 minutes, 25-7, 25-11, 25-11, in the other game as the Lady Tams forced a three-way tie for second heading to the last four playdates of the quarters.
UST, NU and FEU also brace for a fierce battle for the last semifinal berth with Arellano, which despite toting a 2-3 card for fifth, is tipped to finish at 4-3 with ousted teams La Salle-Dasma and St. Benilde as its last two rivals.
In contrast, NU will still play with UST on Aug. 30 and will battle unbeaten and first semifinalist Ateneo on Sept. 5. The Tigresses’ other match, meanwhile, will be against the Lady Tams, who are also set to play the Lady Eagles.
Dindin Santiago-Manabat unloaded 13 hits while Myla Pablo and Jaja Santiago each fired 11 points for the Lady Bulldogs, who overpowered their rivals with 38 spikes, 14 more than the Lady Blazers, who reeled to their fifth straight loss in the league sponsored by Shakey’s.
NU’s superb defense and floor coverage also neutralized St. Benilde’s attackers with Ranya Musa and Melanie Torres settling for just five kills each.