NU UST Finals: 3 Questions Heading Into Game 2

3 Questions We Have Heading Into Game 2 of the NU-UST Volleyball Finals

As NU can now go for the kill against UST in the UAAP volleyball Finals on Wednesday, we reflect on what could be next.

One game down, and one more to go…for the NU Lady Bulldogs. 

Following their Finals opener last Saturday, NU pounced on a shorthanded UST Golden Tigresses squad as they took advantage of Angge Poyos’ right ankle injury. Now, they’re one game away from getting back the UAAP title they lost a year before. 

And as much as momentum is on National U’s side, we still have some pressing questions ahead of a potential closeout this coming Wednesday. 

Can NU avoid complacency? 
NU UST finals NU
(Photo Credit: UAAP Season 86 Media Team)

There’s no doubting NU’s talent on both ends. From scoring to floor and net defense, just about everyone in their current roster has got those covered. 

However, there will always be the trap of complacency, especially with the Lady Bulldogs in full health and confidence, while the Tigresses are without their top-scoring threat. If anything, it’s been on record that NU was likely lax in their Final Four opener against fourth-seeded FEU Lady Tamaraws, who swept them to force a do-or-die matchup.

Siguro sa team namin, ako kasi lagi kong nire-remind yung teammates ko na meron talaga akong feeling, kagabi pa lang na baka ma-relax kami kasi natalo namin ang FEU, Sabi ko, lagi ko silang nire-remind na huwag dapat kaming makampante. Twice-to-beat kami, dapat hindi na namin paabutin sa do-or-die,Belen told reporters at the time following the loss. 

While Belen has also warned against complacency versus UST on Wednesday, pressure is now on her squad to follow through on that message. After all, a convincing win and a crucial injury can make it seem like their opposition has become an easy target now. 

How far will UST’s depth take them? 
NU UST finals UST
(Photo Credit: UAAP Season 86 Media Team)

After Angge Poyos’s right ankle injury, UST now faces elimination shorthanded. Even if Poyos is cleared to return by Wednesday, it should be expected that her production will be limited one way or another. 

So with or without their super rookie, all eyes will now be on UST’s depth heading into Game 2 against NU. For starters, we can expect Angge’s usual backups in Jonna Perdido and Reg Jurado carrying a heavier load for the Tigresses as they stave off elimination. 

Perhaps, UST’s bench could also have a magic bunot starting with Xyza Gula and Pierre Abellana who can also play Angge’s position per head coach Kung Fu Reyes. 

Given this, how much fight does UST have left against NU? Can this squad at least take a set off against them? Or even come close to forcing a do-or-die?

A golden double right away? 
NU UST finals NU2
(Photo Credit: UAAP Season 86 Media Team)
NU UST finals NU3
(Photo Credit: UAAP Season 86 Media Team)

As it stands, Wednesday could be a historic day for the whole NU volleyball program, as even the NU Bulldogs are on track to sweep the UST Golden Spikers that day. If they do so, NU would be the first since Ateneo’s volleyball squads won their respective tournaments in UAAP Season 77. 

And with a very, very high possibility in their grasp, can both the Lady Bulldogs and Bulldogs capitalize on that? Or will we see history delayed, or even spoiled (as unlikely as it is) until Saturday, May 18?

Banner Image courtesy of the UAAP Season 86 Media Team

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