Bulldogs regain beach volleyball title after dethroning UST
"Training pa lang buwis buhay na kami," - NU's Bryan Bagunas
Playing practically a flawless game in the deciding third set, National University denied University of Santo Tomas of back-to-back titles in the UAAP men's beach volleyball tournament.
The Bulldogs scored a thrilling 2-1 series win over the Tigers Saturday at the SM MOA Sands, capturing the title they last held in UAAP Season 77.
Splitting the first two games of the best-of-3 series, the Bulldogs were methodical in their 21-15, 14-21, 15-13 win in Game 3 to win the Season 80 championship.
Playing in front or a pro-UST crowd, Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad were simply perfect in the final set, not giving any inch to KR Guzman and Anthony Arbasto all while taking advantage of the minimal miscues the UST's golden pair did commit.
A final hit by Bagunas sealed the title for the Bulldogs, completing a comeback from a 0-1 series deficit.
Earier in the day, the Tigers won Game 1, 22-20, 26-24, before NU stormed back to take Game 2, 21-19, 9-21, 15-10.
"Training pa lang buwis buhay na kami," Bagunas said, who announced as league MVP.
"Sobrang pinaghirapan namin para makamit itong championship na to. Nakaka-overwhelm na kahit sobrang dikit, sobrang intense, nagawan pa rin namin ng paraan," he added.
Sweeping the eliminations, the Bulldogs were swept in the series opener as the Tigers, coming in as defending champions, came through with the bigger plays down the stretch.
However, NU would settle down the rest of the way and was able to counter everything UST would give.
The championship win was the first for the Bulldogs since they went back-to-back-to back in Seasons 75, 76 and 77, the last two coincidentally, came at the expense of Guzman and the Tigers.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8