Despite giving up a record 51 errors, the National University Bulldogs still had enough firepower to put away Final Four aspirants De La Salle University Green Spikers, 25-23, 19-25, 25-15, 20-25, 16-14, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
NU’s 51 errors are the most ever given up since the league started keeping records. NU head coach Dante Alinsunurin lamented how his team had surrendered two sets worth of points to La Salle.
“Paano ka nga naman ba mananalo kung ganoon ang lalaruin mo? ‘Yun nga, pinahirapan namin ang sarili namin. Ang gusto na lang namin na coaches eh sana maging lesson ‘to sa team para hindi na maulet. Hindi namin afford ‘yung mga ganitong lapses specially malapit na ang Final Four,” said Alinsunurin.
In the final set, NU’s error woes continued to keep DLSU close. La Salle, however, surrendered their own crucial errors that gave NU break points and eventually buoyed them to the win.
Towering open hitter Bryan Bagunas continued to lead the Bulldogs in scoring, tallying 21 points. Veteran winger Fauzi Ismail added 18 markers while last season’s Rookie of the Year James Natividad managed 15.
NU made up for their miscues with a 51-36 attacking gap and 9-6 advantage in blocking.
The Bulldogs remain at second place with a 10-1 record. They continue their march to the Final Four against a hungry University of the Philippines Maroons side (5-6) on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Arjay Onia towed La Salle with 14 points, while fiery opposite Cris Dumago amassed 10 markers.
La Salle (4-7) still have a shot at the postseason. They will need to win against University of Santo Tomas (6-5) also on Wednesday to keep pace to the middle of the pack.
NU (3) – Bagunas 21, Ismail 18, Natividad 15, Saura 8, Dayandante 4, Malabunga 3, Ancheta 0, Gampong 0, Marcos (L)
DLSU (2) – Onia 14, Dumago 10, Jose 8, Bacon 7, Del Pilar 5, Delos Reyes 2, Asia G. 1, Asia R. 1, Dimayuga 1, Movido (L)