Bulldogs to take advantage of 'rusty' Blue Eagles
Mark Escarlote on Apr 26, 2017 07:17 PM
'Pag natigil ka, alam mo na, kakalawangin or mag-iisip ka ng mga bagay na negative or positive na makaka-apekto siya sa inyo, sa performance ninyo, sa team ninyo -- NU coach Dante Alinsunurin on taking advantage of 'rusty' Ateneo de Manila in the Finals
National University went through the proverbial eye of the needle just to punch a ticket to its fifth straight Finals appearance.
The Bulldogs were forced to use their twice-to-beat advantage in the 79th UAAP men’s volleyball stepladder semifinals against a gritty Far Eastern University side to set up a fourth straight championship showdown with three-peat seeking Ateneo de Manila University.
It was a tiring and very challenging series for the Bulldogs but NU head coach welcomed their bumpy road to the Finals as a chance to build their momentum heading into the battle for the title against the rivals they have yet to defeat this season.
“Mas maganda (ang napahabang stepladder semis). Sabi ko nga ng una, kung ano man ang ibigay sa atin, pero mas maganda kung humaba kasi maghihintay sila (Ateneo) tapos kami nagpupukpukan ng FEU,” said Alinsunurin after NU booted out FEU in a dramatic come-from-behind 23-25, 25-20, 15-25, 25-21, 15-12, Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Bulldogs were pushed to a winner take all match after the Morayta-based squad negated the NU’s semis advantage with a 22-25, 26-24, 28-26, 25-17 win last Sunday.
Alinsunurin believes that they will have an advantage in terms of his wards playing condition compared to the Blue Eagles, who last saw action almost three weeks ago when Ateneo defeated NU in straight sets to complete a 14-game sweep of the elims and advance outright to the Finals.
The Finals schedule was moved from its original date of April 29 to May 2 in deference of the country’s hosting of the ASEAN Summit this week.
With this development, Ateneo’s rest extended to 23 days.
Alinsunurin sees this as an advantage that they can capitalize.
“Malaking advantage sa amin, kasi medyo pag player ka kasi, pag na-feel mo ‘yung laro talaga, tuloy-tuloy na ‘yun eh,” he said.
“Pag natigil ka, alam mo na, kakalawangin or mag-iisip ka ng mga bagay na negative or positive na makaka-apekto siya sa inyo, sa performance ninyo, sa team ninyo,” Alinsunurin added.
Ateneo leads their Finals head-to-head showdown, 2-1.
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