In a stunning turn of events Monday morning, the De La Salle University Green Spikers were able to halt the National University Bulldogs’ comeback attempt, taking a five-set triumph, 31-29, 25-23, 20-25, 19-25, 15-6.
This was La Salle’s second win in three games, while dropping NU to a shocking 1-2 record. And no one was more relieved than new Green Spikers head coach Norman Miguel.
“Masarap yung feeling kasi yung proseso na pinagdadaan ng team is yung level ng maturity. Hindi yun sa technical training, madedevelop mo yung through games,” shared Miguel, who took over from coach Nes Pamilar last June. “Ako, I’m very appreciative sa effort ng players namin na nagtitiyaga na makuha yung goal na mag-mature muna.”
Outside hitter Arjay Onia stepped up for the Taft-based spikers with 21 points, while Raymark Woo and Cris Dumago chipped in 15 points each.
After racing to a 2-0 lead — including a controversial first set that saw the Green Spikers pick up the set with a kill that could have been a double touch — the Bulldogs battled back to send the game into a do-or-die. Still, Miguel constantly reminded his players to not falter even against the imposing NU line-up.
“Every timeout, yun yung nire-remind ko sa kanila, yung labanan yung sarili nila. Yung tibay ng heart at mind, yung yung iniinstill ko sa kanila,” the first-year La Salle mentor declared. “It doesn’t mean na nakuha namin yung two sets, kailangan na natin mag-relax. Yun yung sinasabi ko sa kanila na kailangan nilang tibayan yung mind and yung heart.”
La Salle raced to an early 8-3 lead, with Joshua Jose and Dumago doing the majority of the damage. But the Bulldogs were able to cut the lead to just three, 6-9.
However, the Green Spikers were not to be denied, preventing the Bulldogs from scoring the rest of the way. A kill by Jose sent La Salle to match point, while a soft drop by Onia against three NU blockers gave La Salle the win.
Jose added 13 markers, while Marco Wayne glued things together by dishing out 57 excellent sets to go along with nine points.
Fuazi Ismail led NU with 16 points but played just the first three sets. The returning Bryan Bagunas added 14 points.
NU’s ace setter Kim Dayandante was not fielded in the game. Jann Ancheta played the role of playmaker.
La Salle look to continue their run when they face the San Beda Red Spikers on Saturday, September 9, at 8:00am. NU, on the other hand, hope to snap out of their skid on Monday, September 18, against the University of Santo Tomas Tiger Spikers.
DLSU 3 – Onia 21, Woo 15, Dumago 15, Jose 13, Marco 9, Delos Reyes 8, Reyes 0, Dimayuga 0, Bacon 0, Movido (L).
NU 2 – Ismail 16, Bagunas 14, Natividad 13, Saura 11, Malabunga 10, Gampong 7, Ogoc 6, Mondero 0, Marcos (L).
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