PVL: Bulldogs gain share of lead
Bryan Bagunas unleashed 22 points to lead National University to its fourth straight win in as many games.
National University flirted with disaster before preserving its unbeaten record with a 25-13, 25-20, 23-25, 26-24, against University of the Philippines Wednesday in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Bulldogs carved out their fourth win in as many outings to tie idle University of Sto. Tomas at the top spot.
Bryan Bagunas waxed-hot in the closing stretch of the fourth frame scoring four of NU’s last five points. Bagunas scored 22 points with 18 coming off kills for the Bulldogs, who outgunned UP, 56-38, in attacks.
Skipper Francis Saura had 16 markers, Madzlan Gampong posted 13 while Kim Malabunga finished with 12 for NU.
Head coach Dante Alinsunurin tweaked his lineup during the match to give playing time to his rookies that almost backfired.
“’Yun talaga ang nangyari sa amin kasi kailgan ko kasi ma-develop ang second six ko, yung diskarte namin, yung maturity. Yung cooperation ng bawat isa parang nagkakaproblema talaga yung pito sa laro kapag hinihiwalay-hiwalay mo,” said Alinsunurin.
“Pero siyempre ang game naman para naman sa amin kasi every time na may ganitong sitwasyon natututo ang mga players ko,” he added.
UP took a 23-21 lead in the fourth set after Bagunas overshot his crosscourt kill. The graduating NU hitter made amends by hammering three straight attacks to move at match point, 24-23.
Joshua Castillo saved a match point before Bagunas scored on a down the line it to put NU back at the helm. Gampong sealed the win with a crosscourt hit.
NU surrendered the third set despite leading 7-1 early as the Fighting Maroons made a telling rally to take a 13-9 lead. UP broke a 22-22 deadlock in the third with a closing 3-1 spurt capped by a Mark Millete spike.
Millete scored 15 while Nicolo Consuelo had 13 for UP, which dropped to 2-2 card.
Meanwhile, Far Eastern University captured its second straight win in as many outings with a 15-25, 25-19, 21-25, 25-23, 17-15, victory over erstwhile unbeaten Adamson University.
JP Bugaoan exploded with 26 points while Redijohn Paler and Peter Quiel got 17 and 14 markers, respectively, for the Tamaraws.
The Falcons absorbed their first defeat in five outings.
In other results, San Beda University added more woes to Arellano University, 25-23, 22-25, 25-23, 25-16, to improve to 2-2 tied with College of St. Benilde, which sent reigning NCAA champion University of Perpetual Help reeling to its fourth loss in five games, 25-20, 23-25, 25-23, 25-21.
The Chiefs remained winless in four outings.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles