Bulldogs secure semis spot playoff, send Tigers on the brink of elimination
Mark Escarlote on Mar 30, 2016 12:42 PM
Francis Saura of National University blasted a kill against University of Sto. Tomas' two-man block.
National University puts University of Sto. Tomas' neck on the chopping board Wednesday as the Bulldogs secured at least a playoff for a Final Four spot in the 78th UAAP men's volleyball tournament.
The Bulldogs, last year's runner up, bucked a bad opening set before pushing the Growling Tigers on the brink of elimination in a 25-27, 25-19, 25-18, 25-21 decision as volleyball action resumed after the Holy Week break at The Arena in San Juan.
NU improved to 8-4 win-loss record just half a game behind idle and second-running Adamson University.
Madzlan Gampong uncorked 18 attacks in his 20-point outing to lead the Bulldogs to their second straight win after a three-set rout over University of the Philippines almost two weeks ago.
James Natividad and Kim Malabunga played superb in front of the net with five blocks each in NU's total of 14 kill blocks that frustrated UST's attackers, who only punched in 41 spikes in a tiring 126 attempts.
Natividad finished with 18, the same as Francis Saura's output while Malabunga had eight markers. Playmaker Vince Mangulabnan had 39 excellent sets for the Bulldogs, who also boosted their chance of snaring a twice-to-beat semis advantage.
UST dropped to its third straight loss for a 4-8 record and is in danger of missing the cut with another loss or if Far Eastern University or UP reached a 7-win mark.
Manuel Medina had 14 points while Jason Sarabia and Tyronne Carodan posted 12 and 11 points, respectively, for the Espana-based squad.
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