NATIONAL University hopes the long break in the Shakey’s V-League Finals would benefit the team more than Far Eastern University in terms of adjustment and approach on how to neutralize each other’s strengths.
Game Two of the is set Sunday at The Arena in San Juan, one week after the opener of the best-of-three title series won by FEU.
However, while majority of the NU squad has been able to recharge, skipper and First Conference MVP Dindin Santiago and Mina Aganon saw action Wednesday in the Superliga, carrying the scoring load for Petron in a five-set win over PLDT.
Santiago shrugged off questions about getting overworked in that match, but she needs to recover quick. Santiago, Aganon and the other Lady Bulldogs also need to bring their game a notch higher as they continue to miss the services of Aiko Urdas.
NU coach Ariel dela Cruz is also concerned of his wards’ tendency to waver in the endgame, stressing the need to come out strong in each set in a bid to force a sudden death and keep their title-retention bid going.
“We need to be aggressive from the start and try to learn to finish sets,” said De la Cruz.
The NU mentor also said they need to toughen up on defense, particularly against Rachel Ann Daquis and Jovelyn Gonzaga, two late FEU reinforcements who have been providing the firepower for the Morayta-based spikers in the league backed by Mikasa, Accel and Lion Tiger Mosquito Coil.
“We slackened a bit in our defense, particularly at endgame,” he said. “But it’s not too late to get back.”
Game Two of the finals set at 3 p.m. will be shown live on GMA News TV Channel, according to the organizing Sports Vision. Adamson, meanwhile, tries to wrap up the best-of-three series for third with UST at 1 p.m.
The deciding match, if necessary, will be played on June 1.
NU is trying to become only the third team in league history to win back-to-back First Conference titles after La Salle in Seasons 2 and 3 and UST in Seasons 6 and 7.