When they Lady Bulldogs of National University were defeated during their Game 1 last Tuesday in an epic 5-setter (3-2),22-25, 25-18, 19-25, 25-22,15-13 they are expected to win during Game 2 in their best-of-three series. Therefore, much pressure and double effort must be done to outsmart the strong Lady Falcons of Adamson University.
Yesterday was their 2nd game at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. Many volleyball fanatics expected that it would be again – an epic 5-setter match. It’s a fact, these two teams evolved strongly after years of training.
The Lady Falcons rely with their veteran guest player, Angela Benting while the Lady Bulldogs are dependent with their guests, Rubie De Leon andDindin Santiago along with her younger sister, Jaja Santiago. Angela is known for her strong cross court hits and down the line attacks. Rubie is known for being a smart setter while Dindin and Jaja, both are quick and middle attackers, plus Dindin can attack from the back row.
Set 1 didn’t have much exciting showcase because both teams are exchanging errors. Service errors and reception errors were so evident. But with Angela’s superb attacks and Soriano’s strong middle hits, the Lady Falcons managed to go ahead the Lady Bulldogs, 25-20.
Of course, the Bulldogs tried to come back in the second set. Jaja Santiago delivered her 3 service aces plus Mina Aganon brought some superb attacks from her open hits. With Dindin’s service aces as well, the NU squad went ahead, 21-25.
Set 3 was really exciting. Both teams started with see-saw of scores because of their good offense and defense inside the court. Pau Soriano was so consistent with her middle attacks from the ADU squad while Aganon and Myla Pablo showcased their solid open hits. The wind has changed when the Lady Bulldogs went ahead by 7 points but the Lady Falcons made their run to tie the scores. Set point from NU 24-22 but after the long rally and errors made by Rubie, both teams tied at 24-24. Pau Soriano ended the match with a service ace, 26-24.
One last set for a chance of the Lady Bulldogs to force a decider, they started with a bang in the fourth set. Ahead of 3 points (8-5) during the first technical time out (TTO). The Santiago sisters continued to play well above the net with their massive blocks. Angela Benting showcased her own version of an ace. They tied at 10-10 when Pau Soriano was blocked. But the triple attackers, Mina Aganon, Aiko Urdas and Dindin Santiago combined their full powers and went ahead, 21-25.
Set 5 came and the Lady Bulldogs strengthened their massive blocks. Aiko Urdas was enjoying her cross court attacks. Shiela Pineda from the Adamson side was blocked. National U went ahead, 8-2 to change court in this set. Mylene Paat attacked which brough 9-4 in favor of NU. Coach Sherwin Meneses of Adamson called a time out at 11-4. The Lady Falcons barred Myla Pablo above the net, 11-6. But Dindin Santiago was determined to win.With a good connection from her setter, Rubie, she killed the Mikasa with a superb quick hit, 12-6. Angela Benting has the same thing in mind, with her powerful cross court attack and Pau Soriano’s middle hit, they came near, 13-8. Rubie was called for a double touch, 13-9. Crowd was cheering inside the arena. Dindin with her running spike got the first match point, 14-9. But Shiela Pineda said “not yet”and had her cross court hit, 14-10. Jennifer Macatuno, ADU’s setter, got an ace and a reception error from NU plus a bad set of Rubie the scored turned 14-12. National U called a time out and with the very quick hit from Dindin, the match ended at 15-12.
She was chosen “Player of the Game” with 27 points, with 5 blocks and 4 service aces.
Game 3 would be at 4 p.m. this Sunday at Philippine Sports Arena in Pasig City. The winning team will face the Lady Eagles of Ateneo De Manila University who outsmarted the Lady Tigresses of University of Sto.Tomas in 4 sets, 25-13, 23-25, 25-23, 25-13. These teams didn’t disappoint the crowd in a see-saw encounter in the biggest volleyball venue in the Philippines, the MOA Arena.