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NU, UST set to clash in historic UAAP men’s, women’s volleyball finals

MANILA, May 10 ------ National University (NU) and University of Santo Tomas (UST) are set to clash in a historic UAAP Season 86 men’s and women’s volleyball finals. This would be the first time that both of the volleyball squads from each school would lock horns in the tournament’s championship round in the same season, and what makes it more exciting are the storylines between each team that happened throughout the eliminations. 


Bella Belen - 14.7 points (7th in league scoring, 1st in team) and 3.2 digs per game during the elimination round, Season 86 MVP frontrunner. Angge Poyos - 20.7 points (2nd in league scoring, 1st in team) and 0. 41 aces per set (1st in serving, 23 total aces) in the elimination round, Season 86 Rookie of the Year frontrunner. 


End of elimination round standings:  

NU - Entered Final Four as No. 1 team, 12-2 win-loss record. 

UST - Entered Final Four as No. 2 team, 12-2 win-loss record. 


Norman Miguel and Kung Fu Reyes’ respective squads had a 1-1 record during the eliminations, with UST even shocking NU in a sweep to open UAAP Season 86, and this sparked a dominant run from the España-based hitters as the year progressed. However, it was also Belen and the rest of the Sampaloc hitters who spoiled Poyos and the España spikers’ unbeaten run as NU defeated UST in four sets in the second round to halt their erstwhile win streak to eight. But aside from their fierce competition in the taraflex, Bella bared that NU and UST also share strong bonds with each other outside of volleyball. "Kakilala na kasi namin sila, marami kaming kakilala sa UST," said Belen following their win last Wednesday against the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws. "Pag laro, talagang magkakaaway kami. Ay talagang bakla, magkakaaway tayo. Pero sa labas, talagang magkakaibigan kami,” she added.   


Jade Disquitado - 13.9 points (8th in league scoring, 2nd in team) during the elimination round, Season 86 Rookie of the Year frontrunner. Nico Almendras - 15.2 points (6th in league scoring, 1st in team) during the elimination round. Josh Ybañez - 23.5 points (1st in league scoring) during the elimination round, Season 86 MVP frontrunner. 


NU - Entered Final Four as No. 2 team, 11-3 win-loss record. 

UST - Entered Final Four as No. 4 team, 8-5 win-loss record. 


After NU swept UST in the championship round of Season 85, the Golden Spikers went on an up-and-down campaign in the present season’s eliminations, while the Bulldogs, for their part, continued their dominant play en route to securing the twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals. However, Odjie Mamon’s side, despite entering the postseason as the No.4 team, was able to defeat the Dante Alinsunurin-mentored squad twice in the eliminations. And for Ybañez, this pair of victories would be vital for them as they look to reverse the result of the Season 85 finals. 


Ang mindset namin ay yung mindset namin before, yung mindset namin nung elimination round," he told ABS-CBN News following their historic ousting of the No. 1 seed FEU Tamaraws. "We should have the eagerness na manalo, andoon dapat yung aggressiveness, but at the same time, kalmado lang. Yun yung mga ginawa namin kung bakit kami nanalo sa NU twice noong elimination round," Josh continued. 


All of these key points, however, just add more fuel to what promises to be a fiery faceoff in both of the UAAP volleyball tournaments’ championship series which will open on Saturday at the Big Dome. Game 1 of the men’s division will open festivities at 2 p.m., while the first serve of the women’s division series opener is scheduled at 4 p.m. Meanwhile, Games 2 and 3 (if necessary) are scheduled to be played at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. 



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