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Tiebreaker Times


Resurgent Adamson forces rubber match over NU

After stumbling into the Final Four, the Adamson University Falcons mustered a masterful performance, downing the National University Bulldogs and forcing a do-or-die match on Wednesday for a Finals seat 23-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-22 at the SM MoA Arena.

Both sides surrendered a stream of errors to start the match but Adamson’s porous floor defense fell victim to NU’s powerful attacks. NU’s wingers rattled of a 3-0 run that gave then an 18-13 lead and forced Adamson to call their last timeout. The Falcons responded, mustering a strong defensive effort to trim NU’s lead down to one, 19-20. The Falcons, however, gave up a pair of costly errors that gave NU a 22-19 lead. After trading attacks, the Bulldogs had set point at 24-21 but squandered the next two points off careless errors. Luckily, Francis Saura bailed NU out with a strong cross-court hit to end the set.

Revitalized, the Falcons stormed ahead early in the second set. Blocking and digging marvelously, Adamson frustrated NU into unforced errors. The Falcons eventually took a 14-5 lead and never looked back. The third set was a tighter affair but the Falcons maintained a steady two-point separation throughout. NU rallied to tie the set at 19 but the Adamson setter Nico Ramirez led Adamson’s finishing touch. The rowdy playmaker tossed and even scored in Adamson’s set-clinching 3-0 run.

The match seemed headed for a fifth set as NU led the 18-13 in the fourth frame. But the Falcons could not be denied. With help from more NU errors, Mike Sudaria led the Falcons back into the match. Tying the set at 20, the Falcons then took five of the last seven points to end the match.

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“Sobrang thankful namin kasi sobrang tagal na namin sa UAAP na hanggang Final Four. Ngayon isang laro na lang pasok na kami sa Finals. Mga beterano kami, hindi naming hahayaan na matalo nanaman kami ng mga bata,” said Adamson team captain Mike Sudaria refferring to AdU’s 0-2 elimination round record against NU.

Middle hitter Dave Pletado led the Falcons with 16 points, Jerome Sarmiento added 14, Mike Sudaria tallied 13, while Pao Pablico contributed 11. Ramirez tossed 46 excellent sets to go with his five points.

Madz Gampong led the Bulldogs with a season-high 20 points. Rookie James Natividad added 18 markers, while converted open hitter Francis Saura managed 10. NU matched Adamson in nearly every scoring skill but coughed up 35 errors to Adamson’s 23.

The deciding match will be on Wednesday at the SM MoA Arena.

The Scores:

AdU (3) – Pletado 16, Sarmiento 14, Sudaria 13, Pablico 11, Ramirez 5, Yude 4, Consunji 0, Melgar L, Mendiolla L.

NU (1) – Gampong 20, Natividad 18, Saura 10, Baysac 9, Malabunga 5, Mangulabnan 0, Ancheta 0, Ddayandante 0, Sumagui 0, Bagunas 0, Marcos 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.

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