In the battle of the two top men’s volleyball squads, the NU Bulldogs showed their championship poise in their extended 25-22, 25-20, 23-25, 27-29, 15-5 victory against the UST Tiger Spikers held at the San Juan Arena.
The reigning UAAP titleholders took charge during the first two sets with their effective combination plays. Fauzi Ismail and Edwin Tolentino led the offense and were a major threat in the front row. The two powerhouse squads displayed sloppy volleyball with exchanges of service errors and faulty receptions.
Down two sets, the Tiger Spikers showed resiliency during the third set to nip NU by two points. Led by Mark Alfafara, UST pounced and rallied during the latter part of the set to extend the series.
The game got exciting as the teams battled it out closely during the fourth frame. An exchange of attacks from both teams’ star players was showcased in a tightly-contested encounter.
Looking to bounce back strong, the Bulldogs unleashed an impressive 12-0 start to the fifth set led by veteran Peter Torres with his stare down rejections and crucial attacks. Equipped with the much-needed momentum, NU trounced the surprised UST team with successive attacks to seal the game.
Ismail led the way for the Bulldogs with 22 while Tolentino added 21. Alfafara once again paced UST with 21.
In an exciting match, NU won the the spiking category, 62-49 and blocked more, 13-4.
Up next for NU will be UE at 8am on Dec. 10 while UST will battle it out against FEU on Dec. 13. Both games will be played at the San Juan Arena.
NU – Ismail 22, Tolentino 21, Torres 17, Inaudito 13, Mangulabnan 4, Baysac 4, Bagunas 0, Tipay(L) 0
UST – Alfafara 21, Rico 17, Dela cruz 6, Sarabia 5, Balse 3, Castillo 2, Bautista 2, Arbasto 1, Lopez 1, Pangan(L) 0