National University out-steadied Adamson in a grueling first set duel then hung tough to hack out a 29-27, 25-20, 25-23 victory and stave off elimination in the ninth Shakey’s V-League Presented by Smart at The Arena in San Juan late Thursday.
Dindin Santiago rammed in 26 kills out of 50 attempts for a high 52 percent performance as she powered the Lady Bulldogs to the inspiring win that kept their flickering semis hopes alive.
But with a 1-4 card, in a tie with FEU, NU needs to sweep its last two games against fancied teams San Sebastian and UST and hope that Perpetual Help (3-1) and SSC (2-2) won’t go over three wins to force a playoff for the last Final Four berth.
Myla Pablo backed Santiago with 12 hits while Maricar Nepomuceno and Carmina Aganon combined for 15 points for the Lady Bulldogs, who held Adamson’s Nene Bautista to 17 points and Pau Soriano to 10 hits.
The loss was Adamson’s fifth against a lone win, booting out the Lady Falcons from the semis race in the season-opening conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s Pizza.
Defending champion Ateneo clinched the first semis slot with a four-set win over SSC, also last Thursday, stretching its win run to six and building the momentum and confidence it would need in the Final Four.
UST took the second Final Four seat with a 4-0 mark with Perpetual Help closing in on the third berth and SSC tipped to land the last semis seat in the event backed by Mikasa and Accel.
University of St. La Salle-Bacolod also stayed in the hunt with a straight-set victory over FEU as it improved to 2-4 although like the Lady Bulldogs and the Tams, the Lady Stingers must hurdle the Lady Altas tomorrow for a crack at the playoff for the last semis berth.