NATIONAL University kept its semifinal hopes alive while dealing a blow to University of the Philippines’ Final Four bid, 25-19, 25-23, 27-25, on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Bulldogs, coming off a five-set loss to Far Eastern University before the Holy Week break, evened its record to 6-6 for fifth spot.
UP, which entered the match in solo third, now shares the spot with FEU (7-5). NU also settled a score against UP, which won the first-round encounter in three sets.
“Isang paa namin nasa hukay na eh. Every game for us beginning now is always last chance,” said NU coach Roger Gorayeb.
“Matalo kami ngayon, wala na. So next game namin last chance pa rin naming ’yun at kapag naipanalo namin ang last game namin last chance pa rin para makasakaling maka-tie kami as fourth place,” he added.
Skipper Myla Pablo scored 14 points for NU, Jaja Santiago added 11 and Jorelle Singh had 10 markers.
The Lady Bulldogs’ last two assignments are against University of Santo Tomas (5-7) and semifinalist La Salle (9-2), which they defeated in the first round.
Gorayeb said taking the win in straight sets was a huge boost to the Lady Bulldogs’ morale.
“Now hindi ko na masyado iniisip ’yung pumasok sa fourth place eh,” he said.
“Ang iniisip ko na lang maipanalo namin ito para naman maka-recover uli ’yung mga bata doon sa nawalang confidence sa kanila because of what they read of what they hear ang hirap noon ano.”
Rookies Isa Molde and Diana Carlos nine and seven points, respectively, for UP.