PVL: Bulldogs punch a semis ticket
Mark Escarlote on Aug 22, 2018 04:28 PM
National University booked a Final Four ticket sans prized hitter Bryan Bagunas. (FILE PHOTO)
Top player Bryan Bagunas sat out his second straight match but National University still managed to book a Final Four seat in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference men’s division.
The Bulldogs turned back also-ran San Beda University, 20-25, 25-12, 30-28, 25-16, Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan to join unbeaten University of Sto. Tomas in the best-of-three semifinals.
Graduating player Madzlan Gampong and rookie Angelo Almendras took over the scoring chore for UAAP Season 80 Finals MVP Bagunas, who together with James Natividad were given a day off after participating in the Beach Volleyball Republic Open Manila over the weekend, as NU improved to 7-1 card.
Gampong poured 22 points with all but one coming off kills while Almendras had 17. Skipper Francis Saura got 15 and Banjo Mondero added 10 for the Bulldogs, who outgunned the Red Spikers 62-41 while making life miserable for San Beda spikers as they scored 13 kill blocks.
Without Bagunas, head coach Dante Alinsunurin felt the his wards were tentative and struggled in form early on before regrouping to claim the win.
“Sakto ‘yung naging resulta pero hanggang ngayon nakukulangan pa rin ako sa leadership nung mga nasa loob na ginagamit ko ngayon,” he said.
“Wala kasi si Bryan at si James or siguro masyadong relax lang din kasi alam nila na papasok na rin kami sa semis,” added Alinsunurin. “Pero siyempre kailangan pa namin i-push pa lalo na ‘yun dalawang bago namin para pagdating ng UAAP medyo maging advantage namin sila.”
San Beda fell to 2-6 mark.
Angelo Torres got 12 markers while Jomaru Amagan, Jeffrey Losa and Mark Decano finished with 11 each for the Red Spikers.
Meanwhile, UST faced tough resistance from upset-conscious Arellano University before escaping in five sets, 25-19, 25-21, 23-25, 14-25, 15-8, to move a win away from completing an elimination round sweep.
Joshua Umandal paced the Tigers, who clawed their eighth win in a row, with 16 points while Tyrone Carodan had 14 markers. Jayvee Sumagaysay and Manuel Medina posted 11 each for UST, which handed the Chiefs their eighth defeat in as many outings.
College of St. Benilde bolstered its chances of claiming a semis seat after beating Far Eastern University in a come-from-behind fashion, 23-25, 11-25, 25-17, 25-17, 15-11, while University of Perpetual Help defeated De La Salle University, 25-10, 21-25, 25-19, 25-19.
The Blazers improved to 5-3 win-loss record and were assured of at least a playoff for a semis seat while the Altas moved up to 3-5 slate although already booted out of the semis race.
The Tamaraws slid to 4-4 mark and were pushed on the verge of elimination while the Green Spikers dropped to 2-6.
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