CONFIDENT National University goes for the kill against embattled De La Salle in their rubber-match for a berth in the UAAP women’s volleyball finals on Saturday.
The do-or-die encounter is set at 4 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena, with the winner earning the right to face defending champion Ateneo Lady Blue Eagles in the finals.
The Lady Bulldogs forged a sudden-death playoff following their three-set win over the second seeded Lady Spikers, 25-20, 25-20, 25-19, last Wednesday.
The win was the first for NU over La Salle since 2008.
The Lady Bulldogs likewise last won the title in 1956 and 57.
“Common sense dictates, talagang by Saturday, by next game, full of confidence ‘yang mga bata na ‘yan,” said NU coach Roger Gorayeb.
“Kita mo na first time nilang manalo sa La Salle since 2008,” he added.
Gorayeb was tapped to handle the Lady Bulldogs midway through the season after previously steering the Ateneo Lady Eagles to back-to-back runner-up finishes behind La Salle in 2012 and 2013.
He later gave up his post with the Lady Eagles, who finally won their breakthrough title last season by beating the Lady Spikers behind new coach Tai Bundit of Thailand.
But Gorayeb said it would be nice if ever the Lady Bulldogs would be able to break the Ateneo-La Salle finals duopoly, which has been going on for the past three years.
“Maiba naman ang finals huwag naman Ateneo-La Salle parati,” said Gorayeb, before adding, “Hindi joke lang naman ‘yun.”
Four NU players scored in double digits against La Salle led by Jaja Santiago and Myla Pablo, who each had 13 points, Jorelle Singh finished with 11, and Rizza Mandapat added 10.
Skipper Desiree Dadang chipped in eight markers, anchored on five blocks.
A loss by the Lady Spikers will mark the first time they will be missing out on the finals the last four years.
As of post time, La Salle coach Ramil de Jesus and even some of the players have kept themselves out of reach.