UAAP VOLLEYBALL: NU sweeps way back into the Finals for the sixth straight year

Mark Escarlote on Apr 22, 2018 03:37 PM
 NU sweeps way back into the Finals
National University booked its sixth straight Finals trip after sweeping University of Sto. Tomas in the Final Four.

National University stormed to a 25-13, 25-13, 31-29, demolition of hapless University of Sto. Tomas in the 80th UAAP men’s volleyball Final Four to advance in the championship round for the sixth straight year Sunday at the MOA Arena.

Bryan Bagunas and Madzlan Gampong starred in the Bulldogs’ fourth win in a row heading into the best-of-three Finals starting on April 28.   

NU will await its championship opponent on Wednesday when the three-time reigning titlists Ateneo de Manila University and Far Eastern University clash in a winner take all duel for the last Finals berth.

“Gawa rin naman sa ginagawa namin sa suporta ng school namin at managers. ‘Yung sixth straight appearance namin sa Finals ay bunga sa suporta ng school, ng mga magulang ng players. Masaya kami,” said NU coach Dante Alinsunurin.

Bagunas finished with a career-high 29 points coming off 24 attacks, three aces and a couple of blocks including the match-clinching denial over Arnold Bautista to seal the 73-minute victory.

Gampong had eight markers while James Natividad          

After dominating the first two frames, the Bulldogs found themselves trailing, 16-19, in the third. Gampong and Bagunas led NU’s comeback as the Bulldogs pushed at match point, 24-22.

The Tigers saved two match points after an error by Gampong and a kill block by Tyrone Carodan before Joshua Umandal’s kill pushed UST at set point, 25-24.

Bagunas’ back-to-back hit brought NU back at match point, 26-25. UST regained the set point advantage before saving two more match points to tie the frame at 29.          

The fourth year hitter Bagunas pounded a through the block kill to break the deadlock before scoring a kill block on Bautista.

Jayvee Sumagaysay scored 10 points while Umandal had nine for the Espana-based squad.

         

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