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NU Bulldogs topple FEU for Final Four top billing

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Tiebreaker Times NU Bulldogs topple FEU for Final Four top billing FEU News NU UAAP Volleyball  UAAP Season 81 Men's Volleyball UAAP Season 81 RJ Paler Ricky Marcos Rey Diaz NU Men's Volleyball Nico Almendras Jude Garcia Joshua Retamar FEU Men's Volleyball Dante Alinsunurin Bryan Bagunas

Avenging their first and only loss of the season, the National University Bulldogs blew past the Far Eastern University Tamaraws for the top seed in the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Volleyball Final Four, 25-13, 25-23, 25-18, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

NU, who lost in straight sets to FEU on opening weekend, rattled off their 13th straight win. They hold a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four against the Adamson Soaring Falcons.

After sweeping the first round, FEU dropped three matches in the second round for an 11-3 record, still good for the second seed and a twice-to-beat advantage. They take on the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the Final Four.

NU head coach Dante Alinsunurin said their win over FEU was a manifestation of their improvement throughout the season.

“Siguro kita lang na malaki na ‘yung in-improve ng team,” said Alinsunrin.

“Noong first game namin na ‘yun, medyo kabado pa. Ngayon, medyo nahasa na, lalo na ‘yung mga rookies namin. Importante din ‘to para sa kumpiyansa namin sa Final Four,” he added.

Rookie Nico Almendras tallied a season-high 19 points off 16 attacks, two blocks, and an ace. Season 80 Finals MVP Bryan Bagunas added 16 markers.

Graduating open hitter Rj Paler was the lone Tamaraw in double-digits with 12 points. Jude Garcia added eight markers.


The Scores

NU (3) – Almendras 19, Bagunas 16, Natividad 11, Saura 6, Malabunga 3, Retamar 2, Gampong 1, Ancheta 0, Marcos (L)

FEU (0) – Paler 12, Garcia 8, Solis 5, Suarez 4, Bugaoan 3, Quiel 2, Calado 1, Silang 0, Padon 0, Barrica (L), Lorenzo (L)

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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.

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