NU Lady Bulldogs move to solo third with quick win over FEU Lady Tamaraws
Myla Pablo and the Lady Bulldogs post their first back-to-back wins of the season. Dante Peralta

NATIONAL University scored an easy 25-21, 25-20, 25-23 win on Saturday over Far Eastern University to take solo third place in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.

Jaja Santiago scored 18 points for NU, Rizza Mandapat added 13, while Jorelle Singh and Myla Pablo chipped in 10 apiece.

The Lady Bulldogs now hold an even record 6-6, to take the spot behind unbeaten Ateneo (12-0) and La Salle (11-2), which had earlier secured the first two semifinals seats.

“Gusto ko No. 3 ako,” said NU coach Roger Gorayeb. “Attainable ang third spot, dalawa pa laro ko natitira sa elimination.”

Gorayeb, who took over as NU head coach only last month, was also pleased to see University of the Philippines defeat University of Santo Tomas in five sets in the earlier match.

[See UP ends three-match skid, boosts Final Four bid with five-set squeaker over UST

UP earned its fifth win against seven losses, while UST was stuck with five wins and eight losses with only one match left.

“Mukhang napaganda ang pagkakapanalo ng UP sa UST, napaganda para sa amin,” he said.

The Lady Bulldogs needed an hour and 21 minutes to take the match, posting their first back-to-back wins of the season, which to Gorayeb was an indication that the players are starting to learn his stsyem.

“Nakukuha na nila gusto ko mangyari,” said Gorayeb.” “Sa depensa, sa atake, ’yung transistion namin na play wala kasi sila ng ganoon dati.”

“Dati sanay sila na quick si Jaja, open-open (spike) so pinapalitan ko ’yun nakukuha naman nila. Isa pa ’yung receive namin, nakukuha naman na nila ngayon,” he added.

Toni Rose Basas had 15 points for FEU, which suffered its third straight loss and now holds a 5-8 card at seventh spot, just above winless cellar-dweller University of the East.

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