National University began its V-League Collegiate Challenge title defense on a strong note, securing a hard-fought 25-22, 25-22, 25-19 sweep against Far Eastern University on Wednesday at the Paco Arena in Manila.
Despite a considerable number of errors throughout the match, the Bulldogs managed to clinch the victory against UAAP rivals, the Tamaraws.
“Masaya naman kami sa naging result. Nakuha naman namin yung panalo in straight sets,” coach Dante Alinsunurin said. “Although nagkaroon kami ng problema sa game sa mga unforced errors namin.”
Middle blocker Obed Mukaba took the lead for the Bulldogs during the third set, contributing two aces in a 4-0 finishing run and even providing a dig for a Leo Aringo kill.
Alinsunurin chose to sit out Joshua Retamar and Nico Almendras in this season’s lineup to offer his younger players an opportunity to develop in this tournament organized by the Sports Vision Management Group Inc. and backed by Bola.TV, Beyond Active Wear, ASICS and Mikasa.
Later in the day, Alinsunurin was set to depart for Vietnam with PVL team Choco Mucho for the VTV Cup. The decorated tactician will be out until August 26, making him miss NU’s games against UST on the 23rd and EAC on the 25th.
Earlier in the day, reigning NCAA champion University of Perpetual Help System DALTA overcame the absence of its star spiker Louie Ramirez and the challenge posed by a determined Emilio Aguinaldo College side to secure a 29-27, 26-24, 25-19 victory.
The defending NCAA champions had to manage without Ramirez, who had flown to Japan for a three-week training camp with V.League club Oita Miyoshi.
Captain JC Enarciso guided his team’s offense, while Klint Mateo played a crucial role in the end game for the Altas.
“Sa game namin today, siyempre NCAA rin yan, sabi ko nga sa mga bata, walang kampante. Dapat sigurista sila. At the end of the day, maganda naman nilaro nila,” Altas head coach Sammy Acaylar said of the victory.
The games air live on Solar Sports and streamed on the V-League website, and Bola.TV.