Tuesday, June 4, 2013
NU Bulldogs beats Ateneo to win 1st V-League title
The National University Bulldogs go with Rubie de Leon in the crucial moments of the game to ecked out a 25-23, 25-20, 17-25, 26-24 victory over defending champion Ateneo and win the Shakey’s V-League First Conference crown yesterday at the Philsports Arena.
De Leon was named the Finals MVP. She showed her veteran experience to help the Bulldogs to rally from a 22-24 deficit.
A service error by Lady Eagles setter Jem Ferrer and a down the line hit by Mina Aganon forced the game’s last deadlock at 24-24.
De Leon then caught Ateneo backline napping with a corner kill that allowed NU to move closer to championship point.
Dindin Santiago then closed out the game with a hit in the middle, as the Lady Bulldogs went to the court celebrating their first-ever championship in ages.
Prior to their first-ever V-League diadem, NU last won a major women’s volleyball title during the 1956-57 UAAP season.
Taking over from Francis Vicente two months ago, Mabbayad praised the 30-year-old De Leon for getting the job done.
Earlier, six-time champion University of Santo Tomas overcame the absence of Aiza Maizo to subdue Adamson, 25-18, 19-25, 25-19, 25-16, and clinch the bronze medal.
Dindin Santiago led the Lady Bulldogs with 17 points and four digs, De Leon had 13 hits, including three blocks, and Myla Pablo also had 13 points for NU. In her final game as a Lady Bulldog, libero Jen Reyes collected 17 digs.
Alyssa Valdez paced the Lady Eagles with 16 hits, while Jeng Bualee and Rachel Daquis added 15 markers.
In the opening frame, back-to-back hits by Bualee gave Ateneo a 22-21 lead before Jaja Santiago and Pablo took over for NU to move within set point.
Pablo then atoned her attack fault in their recent rally with a soft touch hit for the Lady Bulldogs to close out the opening frame.
Continued what it left off in the first set, NU scored the first five points of the second frame.
But the Lady Bulldogs could not contain Bualee, as the Lady Eagles briefly took the driver’s seat, 18-17.
However, with Dindin and Jaja Santiago joining forces, NU regained the upper hand at 22-18 en route in taking a 2-0 set lead.
With their opponent’s poor delivery in reception, the Lady Bulldogs raced to a 7-1 third set lead.
With the setback, the Lady Eagles failed to give Ferrer and Fille Cainglet a grand sendoff to their collegiate careers.