Jaja Santiago overcomes fatigue, helps NU Lady Bulldogs overcome tough UP stand
Jaja Santiago steadied NU past a gritty stand from UP. Dante Peralta

JAJA Santiago overcame fatigue to take charge as National University survived a tough challenge from University of the Philippines, 25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 26-24, and take the first match of their best-of-three semifinals series in the Shakey's V-League Collegiate Conference on Monday at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.

Playing the past two days for Foton Pilipinas in the AVC Asian Women's Club Championships, Santiago looked fresh in leading the Lady Bulldogs with 22 points, while Jorelle Singh added 22 markers, and Aiko Urdas chipped in 12.

The Lady Bulldogs led by as much as five points in the third set 15-10, but the Lady Maroons went on a late run to take the set.

The Lady Maroons tried to push the game further, tying with the Bulldogs late in the fourth at 24-all. But Santiago answered the call of her team, scoring a point for NU and blocking UP's Justine Dorog to seal the win.

Nicole Tiamzon paced the Lady Maroons with 17 points with Isa Molde and Diana Carlos adding 13 and 7 markers, respectively.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph