National University jumpstarted its title defense bid in flying colors, drubbing the revamped University of the East with a convincing 25-15, 25-19, 25-15 win in the Shakey’s Super League (SSL) Collegiate Pre-Season Championship Season 2 Saturday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
Evangeline Alinsug and incoming rookie Arah Ellah Panique took charge with 11 points each for the Lady Bulldogs in posting a 1-0 record in Pool A.
Reigning SSL MVP Alyssa Solomon and skipper Erin Pangilinan had eight and seven points, respectively, while Mhicaela Belen added five – all in limited action as NU needed only 71 minutes to dismantle UE.
In the process, the Lady Bulldogs, with the sweep, gifted coach Norman Miguel a sweet present in his return to collegiate volleyball play.
“Masaya ako kasi I’m back after the pandemic. Mas masaya ako kasi ‘yung trust, nandoon pa rin. Masaya na panalo pero meron ka kasi kahit paano na expectations ‘di ba? Siguro, dahil first game pa lang at ‘yung all-to-play so parang nagmi-mix and match pa lang,” he beamed.
“At least nakita namin kung ano pa kailangan trabahuhin as preparation for the UAAP.”
Earlier, Far Eastern University charged to a 2-0 slate in Pool D after cruising to a 25-6, 25-15, 25-12 win over Emilio Aguinaldo College behind the 11 points of Gerzel Petallo.
It’s the fastest win so far in the 16-team SSL backed by Mikasa, Eurotel, Victory Liner, Summit Bottle Water, Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken, R and B Milk Tea, Potato Corner, Rebel Sports, Converge ICT Solutions and Genius Sports.
“Happy kami sa (2-0 record). Magandang simula ito dito sa Shakey’s. Maganda ‘yung ipinapakita ng buong team lalo na ‘yung mga second stringers. Naibibigay nila ‘yung ini-ensayo nila,” said FEU interim coach Manolo Refugia.
UE, which opened its campaign with a 25-14, 25-21, 25-19 over Jose Rizal U, slid to 1-1 in Pool A while EAC slipped to 0-1 in Pool D debut.
With little to no break, NU spikes for a 2-0 slate against San Sebastian College-Recoletos (1-0) on Sunday while FEU (2-0) takes a long break before aiming for a Pool D sweep against Ateneo (0-0).
Meanwhile, UE clashes with San Sebastian next Saturday as EAC tangles with Mapua on Monday.