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Lady Bulldogs, Lady Spikers eye sustained roll

SOPHOMORE Vange Alinsug looks to fuel NU’s drive for a fourth straight win in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament. | photograph by Joey Sanchez Mendoza for the Daily Tribune @tribunephl_joey

Games today:
(Mall of Asia Arena)
10 a.m. — UE vs La Salle (m)
12 p.m. — FEU vs NU (m)
2 p.m. — UE vs La Salle (w)
4 p.m. — FEU vs NU (w)

Last year’s finalists defending champion De La Salle University and runner-up National University shoot for their fourth win against separate foes to keep their hold of the second spot in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Following a shocking upset loss to University of Santo Tomas to open their campaign, the Lady Bulldogs rediscovered their winning ways and went on a roll in their next three games.

A confident NU now tries to keep its momentum going against Far Eastern University in the main-game at 4 p.m.

On the other hand, the Lady Spikers aim to restart a winning run in the 2 p.m. curtain-raiser showdown as they test the mettle of an embattled University of the East side.

Both NU and La Salle sport 3-1 win-loss cards behind unbeaten and league-leading UST (4-0).

The Lady Bulldogs eased past winless University of the Philippines, 25-17, 25-16, 25-17, last Saturday behind the troika of Vange Alinsug, Bella Belen and Alyssa Solomon.

NU coach Norman Miguel is confident his girls can pull off another win with their heads now focused on the tournament.

“Although we won against Ateneo and Adamson after our loss to UST, the minds of our players were still pre-occupied with their academic responsibilities,” Miguel said.

“It’s just now that they completely de-load their acads requirements. They are now more prepared mentally. They’ve already completed their school requirements so hopefully we’ll be able to ride the momentum we’ve built.”

The Lady Tamaraws, meanwhile, seek to rebound from a sorry, 25-22, 25-21, 23-25, 20-25, 7-15, defeat at the hands of the Golden Tigresses last Sunday.

FEU has been blowing hot and cold this season with a 2-2 slate at fourth to fifth spot tied with idle Adamson University.

Jean Asis, Chenie Tagaod and Faida Bakanke along with Gerzel Petallo, Mitzi Panangin and setter Tin Ubaldo will have to double their efforts to save the Lady Tamaraws from a second straight defeat.

La Salle, meanwhile, regained its pride after a five-set loss to UST with a 25-12, 25-22, 25-19, crushing of Ateneo de Manila University last Saturday.

Thea Gagate, who finished with 15 points in the previous match, Shevana Laput, Aleiah Malaluan and reigning Rookie of Year-Most Valuable Player Angel Canino are expected to deliver their usual numbers.

“That is a wery promising team because most of them have been playing together since high school and have built a solid chemistry. You can’t take them lightly. We should give them the same respect we’ve given to Ateneo and UST,” La Salle coach Ramil de Jesus said.

UE, which is dealing with the issue of head coach Jerry Yee’s suspension for the rest of the season, is desperate to arrest a three-game losing skid after starting its campaign with a win.

An interesting showdown between Canino and Lady Warriors top freshman Casiey Dongallo will also add flavor to the match.

In men’s play, FEU is out to preserve its clean slate against surging four-peat-seeking NU at 12 p.m.

The Tamaraws carry a perfect 4-0 card followed closely behind by the Bulldogs and Green Spikers, who both have 3-1 records.

La Salle opens the day in a 10 a.m. tussle with UE (1-3).

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