PVL: UST advances to the Finals; NU forces do-or-die
Mark Escarlote on Sep 02, 2018 02:08 PM
University of Sto. Tomas is through to the Finals after sweeping its best-of-three Final Four series against Adamson University.
University of Sto. Tomas weathered a furious fightback from Adamson University to book a ticket to the Finals but the Tigers will have to wait for a few more days to know who they will take on for the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference men’s division crown.
Behind skipper Manuel Medina’s all-around performance, the Espana-based squad completed a best-of-three Final Four series sweep but not after a tough battle that needed five sets to be settled with UST escaping with a 25-15, 16-25, 25-22, 21-25, 15-8, victory Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
“'Di ba sabi ko wala kaming expectations (this conference). Hindi ganun ka-feel,” said UST coach Odjie Mamon. “Pero I’ll take it. A win is a win tapos opportunity na maglaro sa Finals para mabigyan naman ng championship experience ‘tong team whatever the result.”
Medina was all over the stat sheet with 19 points built on 16 attacks, two aces and a kill block while leading UST on floor defense with 29 excellent receptions and five digs.
Genesis Redido added 14, Joshua Umandal finished with 12 while Jayvee Sumagaysay had 11 for the Tigers, who survived the match despite giving away 35 points off errors.
But UST will have to wait until Wednesday to know its rival in the best-of-three Finals.
Top seed National University forced a decider for the last Finals spot after taking down Far Eastern University, 25-21, 25-20, 21-25, 25-21, that tied the series, 1-1.
Bryan Bagunas exploded with 30 points highlighted by 27 attacks while playing great floor defense with 15 excellent receptions and six digs for the Bulldogs, who recovered from a four-set loss in the series opener Saturday.
Kim Malabunga scored 15 while Francis Saura had 13 for NU.
“Well medyo mas nakafocus sila ngayon unlike kahapon na medyo relax ‘yung laro nila. So ngayon nagfocus sila, especially sa blocking medyo gumanda depensa namin kaya ayun maganda result ng game,” said Bulldogs coach Dong Dela Cruz, who took the rein at the bench with head coach Dante Alinsunurin who was on a prior commitment.
“Last time hindi sila naguusap eh. Ngayon naguusap sila alam nila kung sinong bablockin and ‘yung kagustuhan na manalo ng mga bata yun ang naging key although ang daming errors sa service,” he added.
Redijohn Paler led FEU with 16 while JP Bugaon finished with 13.
Adamson got 21 points from Paolo Pablico while George Labang and Leo Miranda had 10 each in a losing effort.
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