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Nationals grab first semis win

Games today:

(Philsports Arena)

9 a.m. — Letran vs Cignal

11 a.m. — Maruichi Hyogo vs Perpetual


Sta. Elena-National University scratched and clawed its way in the first three sets before rolling to victory in the fourth as it downed Saints and Lattes-Letran, 25-19, 23-25, 25-23, 25-13, yesterday in the Spikers’ Turf Invitational Conference semifinals at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.

The Nationals turned to Jade Disquitado and Nico Almendras on offense, especially in the fourth set to silence the Saints Spikers and barge into the win column of the round-robin semifinals.

Sta. Elena-NU was shaky in the first three frames and had to hear a tongue-lashing from head coach Dante Alinsunurin before waking up.

“I guess we struggled in the first three sets. Most of my players are nursing different injuries but we don’t want to use that as an excuse. I was livid but good thing they responded well and we got our timing and rhythm going in the fourth,” he said.

Disquitado finished with 19 points to lead three other Nationals in double figures. Almendras had 15 markers and 21 excellent receptions while Rwenzmel Taguibolos and Leo Ordiales got 11 each.

Ahead by just a point early in the fourth, 9-8, the Nationals went to Disquitado, Almendras and Obed Mukaba, who took charge to deliver the hits almost in succession, leading to their victory in one hour and 41 minutes.

NU thus tied its victim at 1-1 as the Saints Spikers fell short of duplicating their four-set reversal over National Collegiate Athletics Association champions Perpetual-Kinto Altas last Wednesday.

Vince Himzon and Steven Sta. Maria led the Saint and Lattes-Letran with 12 points each.

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