NATIONAL University controlled the early goings, with Myla Pablo and Aiko Urdas delivering the big points in the endgame to help the Lady Bulldogs pull off a straight-sets win over defending champion and erstwhile unbeaten Ateneo on Sunday in the 10th Shakey's V-League First Conference at the Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Bulldogs were not challenged until the third set, when the Lady Eagles were ahead 24-23 and threatened to extend the match.
But Pablo scored on back-to-back attacks to position the Lady Bulldogs at match point, and Urdas came up with a service ace to seal the win, 25-15, 25-12, 26-24.
NU, the only unbeaten team in the tournament, took only 63 minutes to record their fifth win in the tournament, go 2-0 in the quarterfinal round, and assure themselves of at least a playoff match for a semifinal berth. Ateneo has a 2-1 mark.
"Natuwa naman ako na in-apply nila 'yung napinag-ensayuhan namin," sid NU coach Edjet Mabbayad. "Alam ko na binigay nila ang best nila."
"Sabi ko lang sa kanila ituloy niyo lang ang nasimulan, i-enjoy lang ang laro 'wag lang manggigil kasi pag pumapalo matigas na kaya relax lang," he said of the tight third set.
Pablo had 13 points, while Urdas chipped in 10 for the Lady Bulldogs, who won in all of the scoring departments.
NU had 43 attack points, while Ateneo only had 18. The blue-and-gold squad came away with six blocks, three points higher than the Lady Eagles' output, and registered more service aces seven to three.
"Masaya ako kasi di naman basta-bastang team ang Ateneo, team to beat yan," he said.
Ace spiker Alyssa Valdez matched her tournament low of eight points, the same score she made in their game against Letran, while guest player Rachel Anne Daquis also had eight markers.