Reigning champion National University picked up its second win in the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Volleyball Tournament in convincing fashion, asserting its dominance over Adamson University, 25-21, 25-17, 25-23, Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Nico Almendras spearheaded the Bulldogs with a double-double output of 16 points and 18 receptions. NU captain James Natividad backed him up with 12 markers.
Drawing strength from the playmaking of Joshua Retamar — who tossed out 16 excellent sets — the Bulldogs wasted little time cranking up their offensive machine to take a commanding 2-0 lead.
But the Soaring Falcons picked up steam after the Bulldogs coughed up a bulk of its 21 errors at the critical juncture of the third frame.
Almendras and Natividad refused to give way, though. The two nailed the differential hits that pulled their side out of danger for the win.
Ed Camposano and Berhashidin Daymil supplemented eight markers each, while Krisvan Ponti added six.
NU head coach Dante Alinsunurin acknowledges the need to work on his team’s error-marred performance. Still, he also lauded his wards for maintaining their focus on steady execution at the net.
“Sana magtuluy-tuloy lang ang ginagalaw namin. ‘Yung mga unforced errors namin, sa susunod ay ma-collect namin. Siyempre nagpapasalamat din kami sa galaw ng mga bata. Importante lang talaga ay may focus sa ginagawa,” the national team mentor said.
The Bulldogs dominated on all scoring fronts. They built a 41-35 disparity in attacks, 12-5 differential in blocks and 4-0 edge in aces.
For this, Alinsunurin commended his unit for a better showing following a shaky four-set conquest of UST the last time out.
“Medyo ‘yung communication tumaas ‘yung porsiyento namin, ‘yung block namin medyo nag-improve na, and sa floor defense namin tumaas ‘yung porsiyento,” Alinsunurin said.
“Itong opensa namin dito medyo tumaas ‘yung porsiyento, although last game talagang medyo mababa talaga porsiyento namin sa opensa. Sana magtuluy-tuloy,” he added.
No Soaring Falcon scored in double-digits. Francis Casas and George Labang Jr. managed nine points each.
NU looks to stretch its unbeaten run to three when it faces University of the East on Saturday, March 14 at the PhilSports Arena. Meanwhile, Adamson seeks to get on the winning track when it collides with Far Eastern University on Wednesday, March 11 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.