NU Lady Bulldogs try to keep intensity up as semis showdown with Arellano Lady Chiefs begins
Risa Sato and the Lady Bulldogs, unbeaten in group play, try to keep their record unblemished. Kiev Iz Kresta

NATIONAL University coach Babes Castillo wants the Lady Bulldogs to keep the intensity up as they enter the semifinal showdown with Arellano University in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference.

Frustrated over their performances in the early matches, Castillo finally seemed satisfied when NU beat Ateneo in four on Saturday, and now he hopes the Lady Bulldogs can sustain it when they take on the Lady Chiefs in the semifinal series.

“We need more of this kind of competition, 'yung medyo (pahihirapan kami) kasi doon mo talaga malalaman eh what have they gained,” Castillo said after the win over Ateneo.

The opener of the best-of-three series is on at 4 p.m. on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan.

“Alam mo unang instict ko talaga kung sinong nasa kabilang side ng court eh,” he said. “Basta meron lang kaming kalaban sa kabilang side ng court kasi ang issue namin is within eh.”

NU, the back-to-back defending champion, swept the five matches in group play and Castillo hopes the Lady Bulldogs will avoid relapsing into old habits.

“Kapag nakikita kong nagla-lock na sila and they slip down doon sa dati nilang behavior, sasabihin ko, may isa pa tayong option let’s try this,” he said.

Castillo will rely on power hitters Jorelle Singh, Risa Sato, Audrey Paran and skipper Jaja Santiago against the Lady Chiefs, who went 4-1 in group play behind the solid plays of skipper Jovielyn Prado, Andrea Marzan and Regine Arocha.

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