UAAP Preview: NU Lady Bulldogs out to end title drought on Jaja Santiago's final year
Teamwork is crucial for the experienced NU core to finally clinch the UAAP crown. Jham Mariano

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Here's the first of our eight-part preview on the coming UAAP women's volleyball season]

STARVING for a championship, National University will go all out in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament.

After falling short of a Final Four appearance last season, the Lady Bulldogs are ready to bark louder and bite harder for coveted crown - a feat that the school last achieved in the 1956 and 1957 UAAP seasons.

No one is hungrier for a championship than Lady Bulldogs skipper Jaja Santiago. The Season 76 Rookie of the Year simply cannot let her five-year stay in the UAAP end without a title.

“Una pa lang, nag-first year pa lang ako dito sa NU, hinahanap-hanap ko na talaga ang championship,” she said.

“Sa apat na taon na nakalipas, ngayong last playing year ko hindi ako papayag na hindi namin makukuha ‘yun at hindi ako papayag na ga-graduate ako na wala kaming nakukuha sa UAAP,” added the NU star.

But for NU assistant coacha Aaron Velez, the rest of the Lady Bulldogs must share Santiago's hunger.

Babes Castillos’ deputy also stressed that his wards’ exposure in commercial leagues will help them in their campaign.

“Volleyball is still a team effort, so I’d say the best system, the best jelling of the team, the best teamwork will truly deserve the crown,” he said.

Aside from Santiago, NU, which placed fifth last season, will bank on setter Jasmin Nabor, middle blocker Risa Sato and wing spiker Jorelle Singh.

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