The National University Bulldogs reasserted their mastery over the Far Eastern University Tamaraws, 25-18, 25-19, 25-22, and clinched their fifth straight victory in the 2018 Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference, Sunday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Bryan Bagunas had a monster game after scoring 22 points for the Blue and Gold, 19 of which came from attacks and the rest from the service line. Team captain Francis Saura added eight markers on six spikes and two blocks.
It was not an easy ride for the reigning UAAP champions, as they needed to crawl back from early deficits to secure each of the sets as they were surprisingly out-blocked. Nonetheless, it was also their firepower – led by Bagunas – that won them the frames.
NU head coach Dante Alinsunurin, however, expected the victory in the fashion it followed. He said, “Siyempre, medyo in-expect ko na na three sets, kasi nakita ko naman lineup ng FEU. Tinanggal nila yung dalawang malakas na attackers. Lamang kami sa ganung situation.”
In that third set, the Green and Gold squad managed to stifle rookie Nico Almendras on consecutive rejections by Cian Silang and JP Bugaoan to erect a seven-point lead at 11-4. Fortunately, the youngster got a drop shot to score, setting up the eventual Bulldog comeback.
“Sa situation na yung, parang gusto ko ng ilabas yung bata. Pero, gusto ko rin na tumayo siya sa sarili niyang paa. Nakakuha rin naman siya ng puntos [sa huli],” said the long-time mentor on Almedras’ determination.
No Tamaraws reached double figures. Peter Quiel ended with eight points to lead the team.
The unbeaten Bulldogs (5-0) will battle the new-look De La Salle University Green Spikers (1-4) on Wednesday, August 15 at 9:00am. FEU (2-3) will try to get back into form as they face the winless Arellano University Chiefs (0-5) earlier that day at 11am.
NU 3 – Bagunas 22, Saura 8, Malabunga 7, Almendras 6, Gampong 5, Dayandate 3, Natividad 3, Ancheta 0, Marcos L, Sumagui L.
FEU 0 – Quiel 8, Bugaoan 7, Calado 7, Paler 6, Silang 4, De Asis 2, Suarez 0, Laganina 0, Barrica L, Lorenzo L.