National University clawed its way back from a set down to preserve its perfect record and take the solo lead in a thrilling 22-25, 28-26, 29-27, 25-22 win over far Eastern University in Group A of the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan Saturday.
In a preview of the coming UAAP wars, the Lady Bulldogs showed grit in a very tight contest to claim their third straight win in as many outings.
The duo of Jaja Santiago and Aiko Urdas delivered the goods for NU, which remained on the right track of annexing a third straight title in a Sports Vision organized tournament after claiming the defunct V-League’s last two Collegiate Conference crowns.
Santiago did most of the damage with 22 attacks, three aces and a kill block for a 26-point outing while Urdas got all of her points from attacks, including the match-clinching down the line spike.
“FEU is a very systematic and strong team so talagang we’re expecting (a good fight),” said NU coach Babes Castillo. “Sabi ko nga sa mga bata let’s brace for a storm, kasi storm ang FEU. Malakas ‘yan.”
The win pushed the Lady Bulldogs a win closer to clinching at least a semifinals berth playoff.
After outlasting the Lady Tamaraws in the second and third frames, NU got into trouble in the fourth after FEU erased a 10-16 deficit and took a 20-19 lead.
The Lady Bulldogs fought back with a closing 6-2 rally and handed the Lady Tams their first loss in three games tied with Ateneo de Manila University.
Team captain Bernadeth Pons scored 18 points while Toni Rose Basas tallied 10 markers for FEU, which gave away 35 points off errors.
This story was originally published on the ABS-CBN Sports website.
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