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Tiebreaker Times


UAAP 85 MVB: NU completes elims sweep at Ateneo’s expense, advances to Finals

THREE-PEAT-SEEKING National University completed its sweep of the elimination round by beating Ateneo de Manila University in four sets, 25-11, 28-26, 16-25, 25-23, for the outright Finals berth in the UAAP Season 85 men’s volleyball tournament, Saturday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

The Bulldogs claimed their eighth-straight Finals appearance while also extending their dominant win streak to 32 games.

“Credit sa mga players ko na talagang tinrabaho namin itong elimination na ito although syempre hindi pa namin natatapos, kailangan pa naming tapusin itong season na ito,” said NU head coach Dante Alinsunurin.

With the Bulldogs ahead in the fourth set, 21-15, the Blue Eagles came alive and made five straight points to inch within one but NU’s Michaelo Buddin powered his squad to match point, 24-20.

Ken Batas and Jian Salarzon came through for Ateneo though to be within a point again, 24-23, but Buddin drilled the nail in the coffin via a down-the-line kill for the win in one hour and 58 minutes.

After NU escaped the second frame, the Blue Eagles’ response was phenomenal, pulling away from a close 15-12 count through the combined efforts of Batas, Salarzon, Abai Llenos, Jetlee Gopio, and Chad Absin to extend their life, 25-16.

Buddin, a rookie from the NU-Nazareth program, showed out with 19 points, 15 excellent receptions, and nine digs, while Ken Malinis delivered 17 points on 13 attacks and four blocks.

Nico Almendras had 12 points while Joshua Retamar tossed 22 excellent sets along with four points on two spikes and two blocks.

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The Blue Eagles dropped to 7-7 and are on the verge of elimination. Ateneo’s playoff hopes will now depend on the results of De La Salle University’s or Far Eastern University’s final elims matches to force a playoff for the fourth seed.

Batas followed up his 30-point outburst with a bigger performance with 32 points to go with 14 digs but all went for naught.

Salarzon was held to just 14 points.

Written By

Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.

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