NATIONAL University wasted several chances to seal the win early, needing a huge push from Dindin Santiago in the fifth set for a 25-13, 25-21, 23-25, 24-25, 15-8, over Perpetual Help on Tuesday in the 10th Shakey's V-League First Conference at the Arena in San Juan.
Santiago scored eight of her 36 points in the final frame as the Lady Bulldogs completed a four-match sweep of the group stage and kept the Lady Altas winless in two games.
"Yung mga bata kasi nagrerelax pag nakuha na nila ang first two sets," said NU coach Edjet Mabbayad. "Akala nila di na makukuha ng kalaban ang momentum. Buti na lang sa fifth set naka-recover at nakuha ng maayos."
With the score tied at 23 in the third, the Lady Altas capitalized on an error by NU and Honey Tubino scored on a hit to steal the set.
Carmina Aganon positioned the Lady Bulldogs at match point, 24-21, but the Las Piñas-based spikers came charging with five straight points to extend the match, which lasted for two hours and 10 minutes.
"Noong fifth set na, sinabi ko na wag madaliin, one at a time lang," said Mabbayad. "Kailangan lang ng service, receive, magandang set at saka pumalo di naman kailangan patayin agad yung bola."
NU silenced Perpetual with six straight points to start the deciding set and finally put the game away.
Santiago scored on 28 spikes, one block and made all but four of the Lady Bulldogs' 11 service aces.
Myla Pablo added 15, while Santiago's younger sister Jaja contributed 13 for Group B leader NU, which matched Ateneo’s 4-0 record in Gorup A.
Guest player Joy Cases and Tubino finished with 15 markers, respectively, while Norie Jane Diaz added 12 for Perpetual Help.