MANILA, Philippines — Alyssa Solomon may have led the way for National University in Game 1 of the Shakey’s Super League (SSL) Pre-Season Championship Season 2 finals, but she deflected the credit to their second stringers for helping them recover from a first set loss.
The Lady Bulldogs dropped their first set defeat in the tournament but recovered right away to turn back University of Santo Tomas, 21-25, 25-16, 25-19, 25-17, to move within a win from another sweep of the tournament.
It was Arah Panique, Kaye Bombita, and Aisha Bello who sparked the Lady Bulldogs’ attack in the second set that equalized the game to one set apiece. Then Solomon and the starters took over to put away the Tigresses on Friday night at Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
“During the first set, we lacked enjoyment. Our second stringers showed us that they were enjoying and playing without pressure in the second set,” said Solomon, who finished with 15 points built on 11 attacks, three aces, and a block, in Filipino.
“So for us, starters, why not play like them?”
— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) November 10, 2023
Solomon joined hands with Bella Belen and Vange Alinsug to nail the finishing blows on UST to finish what the bench started as NU remained unbeaten in nine games.
“I’m so proud of them because, in our past few games, their performance was not at this level. This second set, they showed that they don’t want to lose but they can enjoy the game at the same time,” she said.
The reigning SSL MVP still lauded UST for pushing them to their limits after Regina Jurado, Angeline Poyos, and Jonna Perdido made it hard for them.
“UST really worked hard for every single point and they didn’t let the ball fall. I’m happy because we were able to get this win,” said Solomon.
NU has a chance to clinch the title in Game 2 for a second straight perfect championship run on Saturday at 5 p.m.
“We need to keep our focus and stay hungry. We can’t be complacent,” Solomon said.