Bryan Bagunas could not have asked for a better end to his run as a National University Bulldog.
After silver medal finishes in his first three years, Bagunas capped his last two seasons with a UAAP championship.
The Batangas-native was also Finals MVP in both seasons. Additionally, he picked up the Season MVP plum to go with the first Best Outside Hitter, Best Scorer, and Best Server plums.
If that wasn’t enough, Bagunas’ final match was tremendous.
With NU trying to close out a feisty FEU side, Bagunas dropped a career-best 35 points on 33-for-49 attacking.
The 6-foot-5 spiker sees all of his achievements as apt repayment for the help NU gave him throughout his career.
“Ito na lang yung way na maibabalik ko yung lahat ng support na binigay sa amin ng NU; mula sa pagapapa-aral hanggang sa pagpapagaling sa akin sa volleyball,” said Bagunas, right after playing his final match.
“Siguro, itong history na lang ‘yung kaya namin ibigay sa NU.”
Bagunas was also reflective over his early days with the Bulldogs.
As a rookie, he spent most of his time on the bench. The following years, Bagunas lamented not giving his seniors Vince Mangulabnan and Ruben Baysac a similar championship exit.
“Hindi nawala yung tiwala ko sa mga coaches sa kung ano yung nakikita nila sa akin. Malaking bagay rin ‘yung tiwala nila sa akin,” he said.
“Yung tatlong taon ko na first runner-up lang kami, sobrang pait talaga ng mga panahon na yun na binigay namin sa mga seniors nanin na ga-graduate. Inisip ko na lang na hindi namin paparamdama sa sarili namin yung naramdaman nila,” he continued.
“And ibabawi namin sila.”
Bagunas now looks ahead to a professional volleyball career abroad, specifically Japan.
After attending his graduation rights on May 27, Bagunas will fly to Japan, with the help with same management group that brought five-time UAAP MVP Marck Espejo to Oita Miyoshi Weiss Adler.
There’s a big chance that Bagunas and Espejo will wind up on the same squad.
“Magta-try ako sa ibang bansa. May kumukuha naman sa akin sa Japan. Siguro, this month or next month lilipad na ako doon.”