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UST repulses NU, keeps eye on F4 incentive


University of Santo Tomas (UST) kept its Final Four twice-to-beat bid alive with a 27-25, 25-17, 20-25, 25-16 victory over also-ran National University (NU) in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 81 women’s volleyball on Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

Graduating skipper Sisi Rondina came through with 21 points all via spikes, helping the Golden Tigresses remain in contention for the remaining semifinal bonus with an improved 10-4 record.

UST could force a playoff match for the win-once incentive against De La Salle University (10-3) should the latter lose to Far Eastern University today (Sunday).

Head coach Kungfu Reyes though just wanted his Tigresses to close the elimination round on a winning note.

National University’s Ivy Lacsina powers through University of Santo Tomas blockers Caitlin Viray (No. 4) and Ysabel Jimenez (No. 3) during in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 81 women’s volleyball on Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.  PHOTO BY ROGER RAÑADA

“I’m not thinking of it (twice-to-beat) anymore. What’s important is we secure our 10th win. It’s another story come the semifinals,” said Reyes.

Rondina, who also tallied 13 excellent receptions and 10 excellent digs, echoed her mentor’s sentiments.

“This win heightens our morale and we can bring this to our upcoming games,” said Rondina.

Rookie hitter Eya Laure contributed 13 markers built on 12 attacks and a block while Alina Bicar came up with 31 excellent sets on top of seven points.

After a hard-earned first set win, UST waxed hot with 14 attacks and capitalized on NU’s eight unforced errors for a dominant second set triumph.

But the Lady Bulldogs got off to a fiery 14-8 start in the third frame en route to avoiding a sweep and snapping the Tigresses’ streak of 11-set victories.

UST turned the tide to their side again, cruising to a 14-6 lead on Rondina’s back-to-back attacks in the fourth set and never looked back from then on.

Ivy Lacsina had a team-best 19 points while Princess Robles and Audrey Paran had 14 and 10 markers, respectively, for the Lady Bulldogs.

NU ended the season at No. 6 with a 4-10 slate.

Earlier in the men’s side, UST and La Salle finished their respective campaigns with victories over separate foes.

The Tiger Spikers trounced University of the East, 25-19, 25-15, 25-19, 25-23, while the Green Spikers nipped University of the Philippines, 25-21, 25-21, 15-25, 23-25, 15-11.

UST and La Salle wound up on a tie at No. 5 with identical 5-9 cards even as the Red Warriors (2-12) settled for No. 7 and the Maroon Spikers (1-13) hit rock bottom.


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