Defending UAAP men’s Volleyball champions and last year’s Premier Volleyball League runners-up National University Bulldogs bucked the absence of ace spiker Bryan Bagunas and the gritty Adamson University Soaring Falcons to carve their fifth win, Saturday morning at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Head coach Dante Alunsunurin had to go through his bench as they missed the service of Bagunas, who is playing in the Beach Volleyball Republic tournament as well. “Syempre yung leadership niya. Yung opensa rin namin syempre, lalo na pag may mga out of system plays,” the long-time tactician told of the outside spiker’s contributions.
“Sabi ko sa setter ko, yung sa gitna, gamitin mo sila. As long as andun yung laro nung mga middles, walang problema,” Alinsunurin said of his adjustments.
The plan worked as the Bulldogs had its spikers in double figures led by rookie Nico Almendras with 30 points, 23 coming from attacks. Middle hitters Francis Saura and Kim Malabunga finished with 15 and 10 markers, respectively.
Pinching in for Bagunas, setter-spiker Banjo Mondero added 13 markers as weel.
The bulk of the points off Blue and Gold, however, did not only came from spikes but also from blocks. The side finished with season-high 19 rejections that helped them pulled through in that fifth and final set.
Team captain Paolo Pablico topped the Falcons with 20 points.
The 6-1 Bulldogs will take on San Beda University (2-4) on a jampacked Wednesday schedule on August 22 at 2pm. On the other hand, Adamson (4-3) will face University of thr Philippines (4-2) on the same day at 6pm.
NU 3 – Almendras 30, Gampong 18, Saura 15, Mondero 13, Malabunga 10, Dayandante 1, Ancheta 0, Retamar 0, Marcos L.
AdU 2 – Pablico 20, Miranda 12, Alicando 9, Labang 9, Bello 1, Amburgo 0, Jimenez 0, Pinar 0, Valdez 0, Gudoy 0, Nuguid L, Florendo L.