One of the promising volleyball players in the Philippines today is Alyssa Daphne Santiago aka “Jaja” from the National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs.
Jaja is the sister of the former NU Opposite Spiker, Aleona Denise “Dindin” Santiago who started her collegiate volleyball career in the UAAP from the University of Sto. Tomas (UST).
She is currently playing in the UAAP and a member of Foto Toplanders which won the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix last December 2015 and will represent the country for the Asian Club Women’s Championship in Thailand in September this year.
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.
After a series of matches in the quarterfinals, four strong teams qualified for the best-of-three Final Four series. The Lady Bulldogs of National University, the Lady Eagles of Ateneo De Manila University, the Lady Falcons of Adamson University and the Lady Tigresses of University of Sto. Tomas were the leading squads after the elimination round.
Game 1 of the semis was so exciting. The Lady Eagles against the Lady Tigresses . The match ended in four sets, (3-1) 20-25, 25-15, 29-27, 25-14. The Tigresses started strong in the first set with superb attacks and blocks. But the Eagles made a comeback in the second set and left the UST squad with 10 points deficit. The 3rd set was quite tough. Both teams have improved in their offense and defense schemes, but the Eagles soared high and ended the set ahead. The last chance of the Tigresses to force the Eagles a decider was in the fourth set, but a series of errors from the Tigresses helped Ateneo went ahead again. The match ended with a strong attack from Rachel Ann Daquis, a guest player from Lady Tamaraws.
Neslihan Darnel from Turkey, Sarah Pavan from Canada, Maret Grotheus from the Netherlands are among my favorite lefty spikers in the field of volleyball!
But dear volleyball fanatics and folks, one of the lefty volleyball players in the local arena is no other than the Golden Tigress AIZA MAIZO from the University of Sto. Tomas.
One of the best attackers in each match! A utility spiker! Aiza is one of the crowd’s favorite! She is currently playing in the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 for UST tigresses! Go Aiza! Go girl!
It’s not easy to seal a match! Right? Aiming that set point, match point and championship point! Go for gold!
The video below shows a very exciting match in a third set of this collegiate volleyball, UAAP Season 73. THE FINALS!
I’ve been watching this one for so many times. Long rallies, good digs, great sets, powerful spikes and smart plays are here!
Noted players of the season are one of my favorites! Aiza Maizo from the UST Golden Tigresses, Jacqueline Alarca from the DLSU LADY Spikers (formerly Green Archers), Slephanie Mercado (daughter of former Philippine National athlete, LYDIA DE VEGA – MERCADO) from DLSU, MAruja Banaticla from UST.
The Tigresses should have won the 3rd set considering they put the Green Archers in a set point. Fortune, fortune showered from the side of De La Salle when the girls were able to make their run and tied at 24 all.
Both teams did not lose their hopes to win that very tight set. I actually guessed, it was
UST who would win. But, the story has changed and with those check balls and unforced errors, the Greens won in 3 straight sets!
With the same win – loss records, (8-6), the LADY BULLDOGS of National University and THE GOLDEN TIGRESSES of University of Sto. Tomas have their fourth-seed playoff in THE ARENA in San Juan City.
It’s because the LADY EAGLES walloped the Tigresses in 3 straight sets, 28-26, 25-15, 25-22 last Sunday to complete their 10th win in this season and forced the Tigresses to land to an 8-6 standing. And the LADY BULLDOGS clobbered the LADY TAMARAWS in 3 sets, 25-19, 25-12, 25-18.
Both teams were prepared to win, weren’t they? Dindin Santiago, Myla Pablo, Cai Nepomuceno and Aiko Urdas showcased their firepowers against Maika Ortiz, Julie Caballejo, Maruja Banaticla and Pam Lastimosa.
But the LADY BULLDOGS were so unfortunate to win the match. They defeated the Tigresses in 4 sets, 25-19, 21-25, 25-16, 25-23.
And with this result – NU LADY BULLDOGS entered the fourth spot of the FINAL 4. Please refer to the latest tally of the season.
The girls will face the DLSU LADY SPIKERS, with a twice to beat advantage, on Saturday.