National University handled error-prone University of Santo Tomas in straight sets, 25-19, 25-21, 25-19, to move on the verge of the 2022 V-League Men’s Collegiate Challenge championship, Sunday at the Paco Arena.
Nico Almendras led the charge for the Bulldogs with 13 points and 14 excellent receptions while Michaelo Buddin and Kennry Malinis chimed in 11 points apiece.
“Maganda yung pinakita ng mga bata namin today. Kita naman sa endgame na pagdating ng endgame, nakuha namin yung mga gusto naming mangyari like yung blocking namin, opensa namin, lahat nagtutuloy-tuloy,” said NU head coach Dante Alinsunurin after the match that lasted just 1 hour and 17 minutes.
Ahead by just a point in the third set, the quartet of Almendras, Malinis, Buddin, and Obed Mukaba connived to establish a huge seven-point lead and reach match point, 24-17.
Josh Ybañez and the solid block of Jay Rack Dela Noche on Buddin put some life on the Tiger Spikers but a service error by the former gave the Bulldogs the Game One victory.
Ybañez and Dela Noche paced UST, which committed 27 errors, with 10 points apiece while Gboy De Vega had eight in the loss.
NU will go for the title and the tournament sweep on Wednesday, 2 pm.
“Importante agresibo kami. Pagtatrabahuhan pa rin namin sa practice at tuloy tuloy pa rin ang ginagawa namin,” added Alinsunurin, who also coaches the country’s men’s national team.