Reigning UAAP Men’s Volleyball champions National University Bulldogs moved a win away from the 2018 Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference title after taking down the University of Santo Tomas Golden Spikers, 21-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-17, Sunday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Wing spikers Bryan Bagunas and Madz Gampong paced the Bustillos-based spikers, finishing both with 16 points, but it was again their service reception that sealed the deal for the side. Libero Ricky Marcos and Bagunas led the squad with 15 and 12 on-point first balls.
National U had to fend off the Tigers in the second set to prevent a two-set deficit. UST squandered the golden chance to take the initiative, as back-to-back errors from Joshua Umandal – one from the serve and the following reception – followed by another reception miscue unfortunately doomed the España-based side.
The Bulldogs then used that momentum to eventually dominate the opponents in the following two sets, as Bagunas and Gampong finished it off for the UAAP kings.
Coach Alinsunurin hopes that his squad will finish it off in Wednesday’s Game Two.
“Sana mabasa agad nila [UST]. Kumbaga tuloy-tuloy na yung kumpiyansa nila sa loob ng court,” the champion mentor expressed.
Manuel Medina ended with 17 points to pace the Tigers.
Earlier in the day, the Far Eastern University Tamaraws completed a comeback, winning over the Adamson University Soaring Falcons in five sets, 20-25, 23-25, 29-27, 25-16, 15-10, to take Game One of the bronze medal series.
Rookie Mark Calado led FEU with 16 markers.
Both Game Twos are scheduled on Wednesday. The third-place playoff is at 10 am, while the Bulldogs will go for the gold at 11 am.
FEU 3 – Calado 16, Quiel 14, Bugaoan 12, Bautista 12, De Asis 9, Paler 7, Laganina 3, Silang 2, Fernandez 2, Suarez 1, Salabsab 1, Jungco 0, Lorenzo L, Barrica L.
AdU 2 – Pablico 27, Miranda 20, Labang 14, Alvarez 10, Alicando 6, Jimenez 1, Valdez 0, Nuguid 0, Pinar L.
NU 3 – Gampong 16, Bagunas 16, Saura 9, Almendras 8, Malabunga 7, Dayandante 3, Retamar 0, Ancheta 0, Marcos L.
UST 1 – Medina 17, Umandal 16, Sumaygaysay 11, Carodan 7, Redido 5, Tajanlangit 1, Corda 1, Buro 1, Casillan 0, Sawal L, Mendiolla L.