PVL: Bulldogs survive Falcons' scare sans Bagunas
Mark Escarlote on Aug 18, 2018 02:49 PM
National University is back on the winning track. (FILE PHOTO)
National University fought its way back from a three-point deficit in the closing stretch of the fifth set to avoid another major meltdown Saturday in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Down 12-9 in the deciding frame, the Bulldogs showed nerves of steel to recover just in time and turn back upset-conscious Adamson University, 25-21, 23-25, 25-10, 21-25, 17-15, as NU returned in the win column sans top hitter Bryan Bagunas.
The Bulldogs improved to 6-1 win-loss record to secure at least a playoff for a Final Four berth and erased the bitter memory of a four-set defeat at the hands of De La Salle University that snapped their five-game winning streak.
Rookie Angelo Almendras carried NU's offense in the absence of Bagunas, who is competing in the Beach Volleyball Republic Manila Open this weekend.
Almendras registered a tournament career-high 30 points in a great display of his firepower. He had 23 attacks, was a monster at the net with five of NU's total of 19 kill blocks while adding a couple of aces including 19 excellent receptions for an all-around performance.
Madzlan Gampong scored all but one of his 18 points on kills, Francis Saura had 15 while Banjo Mondero and Kim Malabunga had 13 and 10 points, respectively, for the Bulldogs, who pocketed the win despite giving away 34 points off errors.
NU squandered a 2-1 match lead and got i into trouble in the fifth set after trailing 12-9.
But the reigning UAAP champions unearthed the same fire that brought them success early to mount an exciting comeback before Malabunga put the Bulldogs at match point on a kill block, 16-15.
An attack error by Leo Miranda completed NU's escape and handed Adamson its third loss in a row.
Paolo Pablico scored 20 points, Miranda had 12 while George Labang finished with 11 for the Falcons, which dropped to 4-3 card.
Meanwhile, Far Eastern University beat San Beda University, 25-18, 25-18, 23-25, 25-18, to tie Adamson at 4-3 slate.
JP Bugaoan posted 20 points to lead the Tamaraws and had plenty of help with team captain Redijohn Paler scoring 13 while Mark Calado and Peter Quiel had 10 markers each.
In the nightcap, College of St. Benilde defeated De La Salle University, 25-21, 21-25, 25-19, 25-22, to improve to 4-3 card.
The Red Spikers and Green Spikers slid to a tie at 2-5.
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