Shakey's V League: Ateneo Lady Blue Eagles Loses to NU Lady BulldogsFrom GMANews.com (Updated 7:41pm) On a jam-packed Sunday that saw four UAAP teams do battle in the Shakey's V-League, the UST Golden Tigresses and the NU Lady Bulldogs put on a show, garnering key victories at the FilOil Flying V Arena, in the quarterfinals portion of the tourney.
In the first game, UST needed five sets to beat the Adamson Lady Falcons, 25-19, 25-20, 22-25, 16-25, 15-7. That put UST at 2-0 in Group II of the quarters, while Adamson suffered their first loss, to slide to 2-1.
The first set was a back-and-forth affair as UST held a slim lead by the first technical timeout, by a score of 8-7. The Tigresses had their hands full against the high-flying Angela Benting, as she was able to maneuver to score in almost every single angle on the court.
With Shiela Pineda and Pau Soriano as additional firepower for the Lady Falcons, Adamson found themselves ahead at 13-10. UST however would fight back to regain the lead at 15-14, due to careless mistakes displayed on the floor by the girls in blue. The Tigresses’ guest player, Aiza Maizo would take advantage of the sloppy movement of the Lady Falcons, as her cleanly-hit spikes delivered the set for UST at 25-19.
Carrying on from the momentum they built in the first set, Carmela Tunay led the Tigresses to a quick 4-1 start. Adamson would retaliate with a spark coming off the bench from Luisa Mae Zapanta to bring the Lady Falcons ahead at the first technical timeout, with a score of 8-7.
Tunay of UST however would not lose a step, as her consistency kept the Tigresses aggressive and on-target. Her back-to-back service aces lifted UST ahead to 18-14, which was all the advantage the Tigresses needed. Maizo, Aika Ortiz and Pamela Lastimosa wrapped the set up with their deep and sharp attacks at 25-20.
Carrying a 2-0 lead entering the third set, the Tigresses looked forward to finishing the match in three sets as they carried a 9-6 lead early on. But the Lady Falcons refused to go down without a fight, as players such as Marleen Cortel and Faye Guevara supported Pau Soriano, Shiela Pineda and Angela Benting in capturing the lead at 17-16.
The Lady Falcons would extend their lead to 23-20 before Jessey De Leon helped the Tigresses inch a bit closer at 23-22. Fortunately for Adamson, they made enough adjustments to deliver under pressure as they forced a fourth set with a score of 25-22.
The frustrating third set for UST served as a wake-up call for the Tigresses as they commanded a quick lead at 9-5 in the fourth. But Soriano showed why she’s considered as one of the marquee players on the Adamson side, as she pushed the Lady Falcons back in front, 12-11.
It was all Adamson at that point as the Pineda-Soriano tandem showed too much emotion and firepower, forcing a fifth and final set via a 25-16 win.
UST however had too much offense on their team as three straight points from Pamela Lastimosa brought them on top at 6-4 in the decider. With the additional momentum coming from Ingrid Reyes providing big points, the Tigresses were too much of a force for the surging Lady Falcons. UST finished the match with Ortiz’s specialty, the running spike, at 15-7.
Pau Soriano notched a game-high 25 points with Pineda following it up with 12 for the Lady Falcons.
On the other side, Maika Ortiz scored 17, Aiza Maizo added 15 and Pamela Lastimosa and Carmela Tunay pitched in wit 14 and 10 markers respectively.
Rhea Dimaculangan was vital in the Tigresses’ victory as she led the game in excellent sets with 34.
The second match of the day was a battle between two undefeated squads, but what was expected to be a tight affair turned out to be a blowout, as the NU Lady Bulldogs demolished the Ateneo Lady Eagles in straight sets, 25-15, 25-12, 26-24.
As a result, NU improved to 2-0 in Group I of the quarters, while Ateneo suffered their first loss of the tourney, to fall to 2-1.
Ateneo and NU exchanged service errors early on in the first set of their match. The Lady Eagles held on to a slim one point lead by the first technical timeout at 8-7, but NU's Dindin Santiago performed at her usual tempo, as she unleashed block-piercing spikes that propeled the Lady Bulldogs ahead by four, 16-12.
With Aiko Urdas scoring well for NU and the Lady Eagles struggling to keep the ball in play, Ateneo found themselves trailing by eight at 21-13. Despite the presence of Mae Tajima on the court causing much support and pandemonium from the crowd, the Lady Eagles struggled too much on their unforced errors ,as they gave the Lady Bulldogs a multitude of scoring opportunities.
The set ended with a veteran play from Rubie De Leon, as her well-placed tip brought the Lady Bulldogs the first set with a 10-point advantage at 25-15.
It was an all-out NU attack in the second set as Jaja and Dindin Santiago, Aiko Urdas, Carmina Aganon and Myla Pablo led the Lady Bulldogs to an early 8-4 lead. NU continued their onslaught, as they their lead ballooned to 21-10, care of their explosive attacks and even two consecutive service aces from Urdas.
Ateneo failed to come up with a comeback, as their rattled defense gave away too many points, as they fell to a 25-12 blowout by the Lady Bulldogs.
The Lady Eagles started the third set in a much better rhythm, as Ateneo’s guest player Rachel Anne Daquis led her team to an 11-7 lead, a run that included two consecutive service aces. The Lady Bulldogs however mounted a comeback behind Pablo’s aggressiveness, to regain the lead at 16-15.
With the score reaching a 20-all deadlock, the crowd commanded control of the intensity of the game as every player stepping into the service zone would be greeted by deafening boos. From the 20-all mark, both teams tallied a combined four service errors.
Daquis pulled off several down-the-line attacks in favor of Ateneo to give the Lady Eagles set point at 24-23. Unfortunately for the girls in Blue and White, their last-minute heroics would be outmatched by Pablo’s then sealed the match, as the Lady Eagles fell, 26-24.
Myla Pablo led all scorers with 13 followed up with Urdas’ 10 and Aganon’s nine. Despite the Santiago sisters limited to single digit scoring with nine for Dindin and six for Jaja, the NU offense was too well-facilitated with Rubie De Leon’s leadership.
De Leon managed to score nine points and lead her team with 13 excellent sets, while one of the best setters in the coutry, Jem Ferrer, only piled up setters.
It was the first time this season that the Lady Eagles did not have a double-digit scorer in their line-up with Daquis and Valdez leading their team with only eight points each.
NU remains the only undefeated team in the tourney. - AMD, GMA News