The National University Bulldogs barely broke a sweat, dispatching the Philippine Merchant Marine School Mariners in straights sets, 25-18, 25-20, 25-15, in the Group A of the Spikers’ Turf Collegiate Conference at the PhilsSports Arena in Pasig City.
The runner-ups for the past two UAAP seasons, NU blistered for a 46/77 attacking percentage, forcing sideouts almost every time PMMS serves.
Middle hitter Francis Saura tallied 13 points off 11 for 13 spiking. Opposite hitter Madz Gampong led all scorers with 15 markers off 11 attacks, a block, and three aces.
“Paunti-unti nakikita ko na ‘yung pag-improve. Nakakadepensa na kami, nakaka-transition na kami ng maganda kapag may opportunity,” said NU head coach Dante Alinsunurin, whose team had been firing off combination plays left and right.
In each set, the Bulldogs quickly grabbed momentum, building eight-point leads in the first two sets then pounding PMMS into a 20-9 hole in the third frame to seal the quick win.
“Sa lineup namin ngayon, talagang maraming magaling. Kaya ngayon naghahanap lang kami ng tamang combination,” Alinsunurin continued about his young, blossoming Bulldogs.
Open hitter Ram-J Pakingan tower the Las Piñas-based Mariners with 12 points, while Kevin Balanga managed seven markers.
The Bulldogs (2-0) stake their perfect record against UAAP rivals De La Salle University Green Spikers (1-1) on August 15, 12 pm, at the PhilSports Arena. The Mariners (0-2) seek their first win when they face the Far Eastern University Tamaraws (0-1) on August 13, 12 pm, also at the PhilSports Arena.
NU (3) – Gampong 15, Saura 13, Natividad 11, Bagunas 7, Malabunga 5, Baysac 2, Dayandante 2, Ogoc 1, Ancheta 0, Marcos (L)
PMMS (0) – Pakingan 12, Balanga 7, Fortaleza 6, Premaylon 4, Chan 1, Hasim 0, Macalma 0, Rongavilla 0, Llanera (L), Santos (L)