National University (NU) opened its campaign with a bang by sweeping Adamson University at the start of Season 80 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) volleyball tournament on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Lady Bulldogs survived the pesky Lady Falcons, 25-15, 25-23, 16-25, 25-13, while the Bulldogs swept the Falcons in straight sets, 25-23, 25-19, 25-20.
Skipper Jaja Santiago had 16 points, 11 from kills, to power the NU women’s squad. Audrey Paran and Aiko Urdas contributed nine markers apiece while Risa Sato and Roselyn Doria had eight points each for the Lady Bulldogs.
“First game is always exciting. We have many mistakes in our first game but I told my players to always enjoy themselves because they worked hard,” said new NU head coach Babes Raymond.
Downed two sets to none, the Lady Falcons opened the third frame with a 19-9 lead and never looked back for a 25-16 set win to stay in the game.
But NU was quick to recover from its meltdown and orchestrated a solid offense to seal the victory.
“We had a good showing in the match but I think there is still a lot to improve under the guidance of coach Babes especially in our conditioning. It was evident in the last set that we found ourselves slowing down instead of speeding up,” said Santiago, who is playing on her final year.
Rookie Chiara Permentilla led the Lady Falcons with 12 markers on nine kills and three service aces while Mylene Paat added 11 points.
Mary Joy Dacoron had nine while former La Salle Lady Spiker Eli Solud and team captain Jema Galanza chipped in seven and six markers for Adamson, respectively.
In the men’s division, Bryan Bagunas lifted the Bulldogs with 16 points, 14 coming off the attack department while Fauzi Ismail contributed 14 points built on eight kills, three blocks, and three aces. Kim Malabunga added 10 points for NU.
Philip Yude was the lone Falcon to score in double digits with 13 points while Leo Miranda and Paolo Pablico combined for 16 markers.
In the other men’s match, University of Santo Tomas (UST) averted a major collapse and scored a thrilling 25-21, 25-16, 15-25, 23-25, 16-14 win over La Salle.
The Tigers nearly squandered a 2-0 set lead as the Green Spikers forced a deciding fifth set after taking the third and fourth frames.
Joshua Umandal’s attack gave UST a 15-14 lead in the final set and Cris Dumago’s error cost the Green Spikers the match.
Umandal finished with 21 points on 20 attacks while Jayvee Sumagaysay and Arnold Bautista had 15 points each for UST.
Arjay Onia carried the load for the Green Spikers with his 20 points, all from the attack. Raymark Woo and Dumago had 15 and 11 points for La Salle, respectively.