The National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs had the whole of the Lenten break to rediscover their champions’ character.
Winning over a top-tier team can confirm if the Lady Bulldogs have done that.
Defending champion NU, beaten black-and-blue by pacesetter La Salle in two consecutive games spanning just four days that bridged the first and second rounds, shoots for a second straight victory when it clashes with Adamson on Wednesday in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at FilOil EcoOil Center.
“We cannot afford a slow start (against Adamson). We’ll consistently be reminding each other or we might be hit [with a loss] again,” said Cess Robles, noting that their character as a champion team deserted them in losses against La Salle and, before that skid, University of Santo Tomas.
The first NU-Adamson clash ended in five sets in favor of the Lady Bulldogs, but the Lady Falcons discovered a fire in them and will come into the 3 pm contest with a 7-2 record, with their last win coming off Ateneo.
“We watched their previous games and will be working on a game plan that we have designed against them,” said Michaela Belen, the league’s rookie-Most Valuable Player when the Lady Bulldogs swept the field last season.
After those losses to the Lady Spikers, the Lady Bulldogs have started picking up the pieces with a win over slowly University of the Philippines (UP).
But beating a high-caliber team like the Lady Falcons is a big difference than a win over the Lady Maroons.
“Our goal is to qualify in the top four, and we will need this game to improve our chances,” said Adamson coach Jerry Yee. “We will draw up a plan and make it work.”
Kate Santiago and Trisha Tubu were the usual operators for the Lady Falcons in their win over Ateneo. But it was middle blocker Aprylle Tagsip who was a revelation following a seven-point effort plus a block aside from doing damage every time the Blue Eagles waged an effort to spring back.
“She (Tagsip) delivered for us and she’ll be part of the [main] spin. They weren’t able to scout her because she had limited playing time in the past,” said Yee.
Ateneo vs. UP
The Lady Bulldogs have definitely seen this upgrade and will again squeeze the best from reliables Alyssa Solomon, Robles, Belen, Evangeline Alinsug and Sheena Toring, among others.
“Discipline and consistency. These are the things we need to work on. We have to be patient against Adamson and minimize our errors,” said Belen.
The other game between Ateneo and UP will be a battle for atonement after both went into to the break smarting from losses.
UP has so far dropped five straight and the Lady Maroons are currently near the tailend of the standings at 1-8 (win-loss), slightly ahead of the University of the East Lady Warriors (0-10). Another UP loss will bundle the Lady Maroons out of the Final Four for good. INQ
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