PVL: Bulldogs draw first blood
National University inched closer to claiming its first PVL Collegiate Conference title. (FILE PHOTO)
It took National University one full set to adjust to University of Sto. Tomas' good serving game to draw first blood in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference men’s Finals.
But when the Bulldogs got their game going, the Tigers didn’t stand a chance.
Veterans Bryan Bagunas and Madzlan Gampong spearheaded NU’s 21-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-17, win Sunday over UST in Game 1 of the best-of-three championship series at the FilOil Fying V Centre in San Juan.
The reigning UAAP champions Bulldogs struggled with their reception early as the Tigers pummeled them with heavy serves. NU was quick to regroup and a string of miscues by UST late in the second spelled doom for the Espana-based squad.
“Una kasi ‘di ba sabi ko kung sino man ang agresibo sa service receive yun ang medyo lalamang,” said NU coach Dante Alinsunurin. “Noong first set medyo nagkaproblema kami sa receive eh tapos yung set play nila hindi kami naka-adjust.”
“Buti na lang noong latter part ng second set naka-adjust kami sa kung anong ginagawa nila tapos noong third set nawalan sila ng receive kaya kung ano man ang gusto naming mangyari sa blocking nakuha namin,” he added.
Game 2 is on Wednesday.
Bagunas started out sluggish but gradually got his bearing to finish with 16 points including 14 off kills with 12 excellent receptions while Gampong had 16 markers he collected from 11 spikes, four kill blocks and an ace for NU.
Francis Saura scored nine, rookie Angelo Almendras chipped in eight while Kim Dayandante tallied 24 excellent sets for the Bulldogs.
UST went ahead 23-22 in the second set only to throw away three straight points off errors that gave NU a chance to tie the match.
With the Bulldogs getting their rhythm going after a bad start, UST was unable to adjust to NU’s onslaught.
The Tigers committed 37 errors.
Manuel Medina finished with 17 points while Joshua Umandal and Jayvee Sumagaysay had 16 and 11, respectively, for UST.
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