NATIONAL University survived Adamson, 20-25, 25-21, 24-26, 25-21, 15-12, on Thursday to force a rubber match in their best-of-three semifinals in the 10th Shakey's V-League First Conference at the Mall of Asia Arena.
In another error-strewn match featuring short bursts of power and scoreless stretches from each team, the Lady Bulldogs took control in the fifth set with a 7-1 lead only to see the Lady Falcons again came up with a rally to pull within two points.
Dindin Santiago positioned the Lady Bulldogs at match point before sister Jaja Santiago sealed the win for the lady Bulldogs in a match played before a crowd of over 3,000 at the Pasay arena that took two hours and nine minutes to settle.
Earlier in the game, NU capitalized on Adamson's seven errors to take the lead, 22-15, but the Lady Falcons countered with their own 11-2 spurt to seal the third set.
"Ang layo na ng lamang pero binigay pa sa kalaban buti na lang nakabalik," said NU coach Edjet Mabbayad. "Lumalabas lang na kulang pa sa maturity kung paano tatapusin 'yung set.
"Sabi ko sa kanila kalimutan na ang mga unang set. Umpisahan natin ng maganda at tapusin ng maganda itong fifth set. Ayaw kasi namin (coaches) sila ma-pressure during the game, gusto namin maglaro lang sila."
Dindin Santiago came up with 27 points from 18 attacks, five blocks and four service aces to lead all scorers as the Lady Bulldogs forced a do-or-die Game Three on Sunday.
Carmina Aganon had 19 points, Myla Pablo scored 14 and Jaja Santiago chipped in with 11.
National U made use of its height advantage, coming up with 16 points from blocks against two of Adamson, which tallied 13 service aces compared to seven of NU. But the Lady Bulldogs committed more errors than the Lady Falcons, 39-30.
Team captain Pau Soriano produced 20 points for Adamson, while Bhebs Pineda had 17 and guest player Angela Benting had a quiet 13-point game.