Lady Spikers edge Tigresses in 5-set thriller.
By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Games Today (Mall of Asia Arena)
8 a.m. - UP vs UE (Men's)
10 a.m. - Ateneo vs FEU (Men's)
2 p.m. - UP vs UE (Women's)
4 p.m. - Ateneo vs FEU (Women's)
La Salle endured rough-sailing at the start of its title-retention campaign yesterday in surviving University of Santo Tomas, 25-20, 17-25, 25-22, 15-25, 15-8, in UAAP women's volleyball at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Playing in the post-Kim Fajardo era, the Lady Spikers had to thread through the proverbial eye of the needle in finding the right combination to outhustle the Tigresses.
Reigning MVP Majoy Baron dished out a performance worthy of her title by finishing with 19 points on 12 kills, five blocks and two aces.
Setter Michelle Cobb, who filled in the spot left by Fajardo, also displayed an impressive all-around game by scoring four aces and two blocks apart from making 37 excellent sets.
The Tigresses, who are reeling from the absence of injured spiker EJ Laure, leaned on the gritty attacks of Sisi Rondina, but the strength of the Lady Spikers was too much to handle.
Meanwhile, National University recuperated in time from a lethargic third set in besting gutsy Adamson, 25-15, 25-23, 16-25, 25-13.
After taking the first two sets, the Lady Bulldogs slowed down in the third that gave the Lady Falcons the opportunity to strike back before NU regained its composure anchored on power-hitting Jaja Santiago.
The 6-foot-5 Santiago towered over her rivals and finished with 16 points on 11 kills, four blocks and one ace.
Debuting NU coach Babes Castillo said his stalwarts needed more conditioning than improving their skills.
"We wanted to produce more in the third set pero kumbaga, nagkulang sa battery so imbis na bumilis kami, bumabagal kami," said Castillo.
Santiago also added their slow plays forced them to commit more errors.
"We gave a lot of points to Adamson in that set," Santiago added.
The Lady Bulldogs, however, quickly recovered and ruled the third with Santiago's combination spikes.
Cherry Rondina of UST attacks Michelle Cobb of DLSU during their UAAP Volleyball Season 80 match at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, February 3, 2018 (MB photo Rio Leonelle Deluvio)
National University's Jaja Santiago, center, watches the ball sail past the defense of Adamson's Chiara Permentilla, left, and Mylene Paat in UAAP volleyball Season 80 at the Mall of Asia Arena yesterday in Pasay City. (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)