The National University Bulldogs had three spikers dish out double-digit performances en route to a decisive four-set win over the De La Salle University Green Spikers, 27-29, 25-17, 25-21, 25-19, for their third win in UAAP Season 79 at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The Bulldogs let a 22-19 first set advantage slip due to errors and faulty reception. The Green Spikers capitalized, taking the Bulldogs to a long deuce capped by conversions from La Salle skipper Raymark Woo.
From there, the Bulldogs played splendidly. Dominant at the net, the Bulldogs built a 20-12 lead to take the second set easily.
When the Green Spikers were threatening to rally back in the third set, NU surged from a 21-20 lead with a 4-0 run built on thundering shut-downs at the net.
The fourth set was all Bulldogs, with the Green Spikers’ efforts deflating on defense and reception.
“Siyempre hindi natin gusto ‘yung nagbibigay tayo nang mga errors lalo na kung crucial katulad noong first set,” reflected NU head coach Dante Alinsunurin. “Pero masaya pa rin kaming coaches kasi nandoon ‘yung response noong mga bata noong lumaban ‘yung La Salle. Nakakapit din kami noong dulo para matapos na agad ‘yung laban.”
Spikers’ Turf Open Conference MVP Fauzi Ismail powered in 17 points. Spikers’ Turf Reinforced Conference MVP Bryan Bagunas added 16, while reigning Rookie of the Year James Natividad piled up 14.
The Bulldogs were efficient on the attack, converting 52 of their 102 attack attempts.
NU (3-1) face the highly-improved Far Eastern University Tamaraws (3-1) on Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Open hitter Arjay Onia led La Salle with 12 points, while last season’s Best Scorer Raymark Woo was limited to just eight markers.
La Salle (1-3) take on the Adamson University Falcons (0-4) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
NU (3) – Ismail 17, Bagunas 16, Natividad 14, Saura 9, Malabunga 8, Dayandante 4, Gampong 1, Modero 1, Ancheta 0, Marcos (L)
DLSU (1) – Onia 12, Dumago 9, Del Pilar 8, Woo 8, Jose 4, Bacon 2, Marco 1, Asia G. 0, Asia R. 0, Dimayuga 0, Maravilla 0, Movido (L)