Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tiebreaker Times


Bryan Bagunas, NU Bulldogs show might over Ateneo in Finals rematch

What was a heated match-up in last year’s Finals became a romp in the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Volleyball tournament, as the National University Bulldogs breezed past arch-rivals Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles, 25-19, 25-23, 25-16, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

National U were hot from the first serve, taking advantage of Ateneo miscues en route to an insurmountable 18-12 first-set gap. The second set had the tightest sequences of the match, as the Bulldogs surrendered a 22-20 lead for a tie, 23-all. National U leading scorer Bryan Bagunas pounded an attack past two blockers to give his team the lead, and set up James Natividad’s set-clinching solo block.

From a 9-all draw, the final set then swung to NU’s favor thanks to a 10-2 run that sealed the win.

After losing their season opener against FEU, the Bulldogs closed the first round on a six-game winning streak. Head coach Dante Alinsunurin was still critical of NU’s 31 errors – 11 more than Ateneo – but expressed satisfaction in their overall play.

“Problema namin, nagbigay kami ng unforced errors kaya nakakadikit sa amin ‘yung kalaban. Kailangan naka-focus lagi,” he said.

“Importante sa amin every game kasi kailangan namin ma-gauge kung nasaan na ‘yung team namin. Minsan may game kami na marami talagang error, pero okay na din na nakikita na namin ngayon ‘yun,” the national team head coach added.

The Bulldogs rippes Ateneo on the attack, tallying 47-22 disparity to go with a 6-2 lead in blocks.

The graduating Bagunas finished with 20 points off an immaculate 18-for-27 attacking clip. Rookie Nico Almendras managed 11 markers.

#ReadMore  Kai Sotto to get first feel of NBL during Blitz preseason

No Blue Eagle finished in double-digits, as Tony Koyfman had just seven points to lead his team. Ateneo finish the first round with a 4-3 slate.

The Scores

NU (3) Bagunas 20, Almendras 11, Natividad 9, Gampong 4, Malabunga 4, Saura 4, Mondero 2, Retamar 1, Ancheta 0, Marcos (L)

ADMU (0) – Koyfman 7, Medalla 6, Njigha 6, Rivera 6, Llenos 2, Magadia 1, Aguilar 0, Cuerva 0, Morado 0, Sumanguid (L)

Written By

Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

You May Also Like


When National University faced a young Sta. Rosa squad in the 2022 Spikers Turf Open Conference last September 10, there was one Lion who...


National University seniors Owa Retamar and Nico Almendras are leaving their fate in the hands of head coach Dante Alinsunurin following their perfect championship...


Joshua Retamar was named UAAP Season 85 men’s volleyball Finals MVP after leading National University to a two-game sweep of University of Santo Tomas....


National University clinched its third consecutive championship by defeating the University of Santo Tomas, 25-20, 25-21, 25-20, to complete a 16-game sweep of the...


University of Santo Tomas’ Josh Ybañez was a runaway winner of the UAAP Season 85 men’s volleyball tournament Most Valuable Player and Rookie of...


Joshua Retamar and Nico Almendras were the calm and composed pillars of National University during the chaotic five-set match against University of Santo Tomas...


In his first taste of the UAAP men’s volleyball finals, Michaelo Buddin ensured that his name would be remembered as he led National University...


National University survived against University of Santo Tomas in a thrilling Game 1 of the best-of-three UAAP Season 85 finals, winning 25-23, 25-22, 21-25,...