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NU, Adamson cross paths

Bella Belen tries to rally NU to another win in a clash against Adamson in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UAAP

Games today:

(Smart Araneta Coliseum)

10 a.m. — NU vs Adamson (m)

12 p.m. — Ateneo vs UP (m)

2 p.m. — NU vs Adamson (w)

4 p.m. — Ateneo vs UP (w)


Barely surviving the last time out, last year’s runner-up National University braces for another tough battle against confident Adamson University on Wednesday in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Both squads are shooting for a follow up to their contrasting wins over the weekend to move up the standings in the scheduled 2 p.m. clash.

Meanwhile, winless teams Ateneo de Manila University and University of the Philippines go at it in the 4 p.m. main game.

The Season 85 champions Lady Bulldogs recovered from a nightmare straight sets defeat at the hands of University of Santo Tomas in the season opener with a hard-earned, 25-17, 24-26, 26-28, 25-19, 15-7, victory over the Blue Eagles.

Returning head coach Norman Miguel underscores the importance of playing good net defense if NU wants to start a winning roll.

“We have to strengthen our block especially since we’re facing an aggressive Adamson side on Wednesday,” Miguel said.

“Adamson has a good pass. They have great passing skills which they easily transitions to quick set plays, so we have to adjust to that. We have to train harder. We already have a loss on our card so hopefully as much as possible we’ll get wins moving forward. Double effort in blocking, passing and floor defense,” he added.

Net defense played a crucial role in NU’s win over Ateneo where it tallied 13 kill blocks with five coming from Minerva Maaya.

Season 85 Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player Bella Belen, who scored 21 points with 24 digs and 10 excellent receptions, Alyssa Solomon, Maaya, Erin Pangilinan and setter Lams Lamina, need to show the same aggressiveness and energy in their last game to lead the Lady Bulldogs to another win.

But the Lady Falcons are not going away without a fight.

Adamson crushed the Fighting Maroons, 25-22, 25-22, 28-26, to bounce back from a swift straight-set beating it suffered against defending champion De La Salle University to start the season.

“It’s a start for us to gain confidence since we’re facing a strong team in NU,” Lady Falcons first year coach JP Yude said.

“We will work hard for it (win) kasi because it won’t be given to us easily. There are more challenges to come. It’s not easy every time,” he added.

Yude will rely on Mayang Nuique, AA Adolfo and Rochelle Lalongisip along with veteran Lucille Almonte and Jen Villegas.

On the other hand, the new UP coach Oliver Almadro challenges his former team for the first time in the first Battle of Katipunan of the season.

Almadro, who led Ateneo to the title in 2019, was replaced by Brazilian tactician Sergio Veloso.

In men’s play, four-peat-seeking Bulldogs aim for their second straight win against the Falcons at 10 a.m.

Both squads carry identical 1-1 slates.

Battling at 12 p.m. are the Blue Eagles (1-1) and Fighting Maroons (0-2).

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