MYLA Pablo came up with the biggest hits, leading the way as National University downed fancied La Salle, 25-16, 26-24, 14-25, 25-23, on Wednesday in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the MOA Arena.
It was the Lady Bulldogs’ second win in three outings, preventing the Lady Spikers, also now with a 2-1 card, from gaining a share of the lead with the Ateneo Lady Eagles.
Pablo, Jaja Santiago and Jorelle Singh each had 16 points for the Lady Bulldogs got a win streak going after an opening-day loss with what NU coach Roger Gorayeb describes as a big morale booster of a victory for his squad.
“Malaking panalo 'yan (laban) sa La Salle. Siyempre alam naman nating malakas 'yang La Salle, they can always recover. Pero 'yung makaisang laro kami sa kanila napakaganda,” he said.
“Hindi na lang namin pababayaan 'yan, ikaka-capitalize namin 'yan," he added.
The Lady Bulldogs won the first two sets but La Salle stormed back with a dominant third and seemed to take momentum in taking a 14-20 lead to hopefully force a decider.
But NU countered with a 9-1 run capped by a Pablo attack for a 23-21 advantage. The Lady Spikers forced a tie at 23-all, before Pablo pushed the Lady Bulldogs to match point and Roselyn Doria scored on a service ace to seal the victory.
Gorayeb encouraged his players to believe in themselves during that pivotal stretch, reminding the Lady Bulldogs that they are as capable as La Salle and the other contenders fighting for the much-coveted UAAP title.
"Sabi ko nga sa kanila na hindi dalawang teams lang ‘yan na naglalabanan (para sa title) sa UAAP, marami 'yan. Bigyan natin ng chance ang sarili natin," said Gorayeb.
"Huwag nyong i-deny ang sarili ninyo ng pagkakataon na pwede nating maipanalo," he added. "Nag-iba na sila kaysa dati e. 'Yung puso lang nila madaling masira pa. Hindi pa sila ganoon kakompiyansa pero kapag na-reach namin ang ganoong kompiyansa na gusto kong mangyari, magandang-maganda ito para sa amin."
Mary Joy Baron led La Salle with 19 points, while Mika Reyes and skipper Ara Galang added 12 and 10 markers, respectively.
NU took a 19-7 lead in the first set and sustained the momentum until the second set.
La Salle turned the table to its favor as it started the third set with a 7-1, breather that ballooned to 16-6, en route to 25-14 win that extended the match to a fourth set.
The Lady Spikers were more effective in blocking (13-8) and service (11-5) but had more costly errors 31-22, including 11 in the second set.