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Lady Bulldogs snap Tigresses’ unbeaten run

MANILA, Philippines — National U took revenge and dealt Santo Tomas its first scar, 23-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-20, in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament yesterday in front of 10,947 fans at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Former MVP Bella Belen rifled in 24 points on 21 attacks as the Lady Bulldogs owned the last three sets after surrendering the opening salvo to exact sweet payback on the previously unbeaten Golden Tigresses.

NU bowed to Santo Tomas via sweep in the opener but wasn’t to be denied this time to hike its mark to 7-2, making it a tightrope battle with Santo Tomas (8-1) and reigning champion La Salle (7-1) for the coveted Top Two spots and the twice-to-beat bonuses in the Final Four.

The race is tipped to get more interesting down the stretch as the two teams brace for a similar foe in no less than the mighty La Salle.

Vange Alinsug had 18 points while Alyssa Solomon added 17, including a bevy of clutch hits in the fourth set highlighted by an ace to seal the deal and shut down any comeback left on the usually resilient Golden Tigresses.

Earlier, Santo Tomas men stamped their class once again on rival and three-time defending champion National U with a scintillating 28-30, 22-25, 25-23, 25-22, 15-9 reverse sweep to stabilize their own Final Four drive.

Reigning MVP Joshua Ybañez tallied a new career-high of 34 points on 31 hits, two blocks and an ace as the Golden Spikers scored a repeat win over the Bulldogs in the second meeting between last season’s finalists for a 5-4 slate.