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Bulldogs close in on outright Finals berth

National University’s Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad remained unbeaten, and came within a match of clinching an outright Finals berth in the UAAP Beach Volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Bagunas and Natividad knocked off the Ateneo de Manila University’s Karl Baysa and Marck Espejo, 21-19, 21-16, in the afternoon; then swept the De La Salle University’s Wayne Marco and Cris Dumago, 21-17, 21-10 in the night cap.

National U clinched a 6-0 record to end Day Four. A win on Thursday against the University of the Philippines’ Wendel Miguel and Niccolo Consuelo will send them to the best-of-three Finals and leave the rest of the field to compete in a stepladder.

“Malaking motivation po sa amin talaga na makapag-Finals agad. Kahit anong advantage na makuha namin kasi ay sobrang laking tulong para mag-champion kami,” said Batangas-native Bagunas, a three-year sandcourt veteran.

Defending champions University of Santo Tomas and last season’s silver medalists Far Eastern University set up a grueling clash for the second seed and a twice-to-beat advantage on Thursday.

UST uncle-nephew duo of Kris Roy Guzman and Anthony Arbasto made short work of La Salle, 21-13, 21-14, before crushing the University of the East’s Alven Aljas and Clifford Inoferio, 21-10, 21-10.

FEU’s Jude Garcia and Richard Solis, on the other hand, nailed a three-setter against UE, 18-21, 21-15, 15-4, in the afternoon and a sweep against Adamson University’s JP Yude and Pao Pablico 21-17, 22-20, in the evening.

Both FEU and UST sport a 5-1 record heading into their clash on Thursday. The winner of that tiff gets the second in the Final Four which begins on Thursday evening.

#ReadMore  Scoring zero points, Dawn Macandili proves to be La Salle's biggest star

Ateneo, meanwhile, need to win their final elimination round match on Thursday against Adamson to secure the fourth seed. A loss sends both squads into a playoff for the final seat.

UAAP Season 80 Men’s Beach Volleyball Standings
October 8, 2017 – SM Sands By the Bay, Pasay City

NU 6-0
FEU 5-1
UST 5-1
ADMU 3-3
AdU 2-4
DLSU 1-5
UE 1-5
UP 1-5

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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