UAAP VOLLEYBALL: NU eyes sixth straight Finals stint
Mark Escarlote on Apr 22, 2018 06:34 AM
National University seeks to advance in the Finals for the sixth straight year.
Top seed National University guns for the first championship berth in the 80th UAAP men’s volleyball tournament Final Four on Sunday against University of Sto. Tomas at the MOA Arena.
Armed with a twice-to-beat advantage, the Bulldogs march in their 2:00 p.m. duel hoping to clinch their sixth straight best-of-three Finals appearance.
The match will air will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA on SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD on SkyCable Channel 183 and via livestream.
NU finished the elimination round with a 12-2 win-loss record with its losses coming at the hands of archrival three-time defending champion Ateneo de Manila University and Adamson University.
The Bulldogs are fresh off a 25-23, 21-25, 25-23, 25-19, victory over the Blue Eagles last week to cap a three-game winning run.
Despite sweeping the Tigers in their two elims meetings, NU head coach Dante Alinsunurin is not taking any chances.
“Basta ang importante sa amin ay ‘yung opensa at block namin makuha namin,” he said.
UST is coming off back-to-back wins off Adamson including a tightly contested Final Four spot five-set playoff victory last Wednesday.
Tigers head coach Odjie Mamon is taking the match with a no-pressure approach considering that his young squad has already achieved their primary objective of making it into the semis.
“As far as our goals are concerned, naka-achieve na kami. Kasi dalawa lang ang goal namin, it's to maintain yung No. 4 ranking, and come up ahead of La Salle for the overall, general championship,” he said.
“So achieve na 'yun, whatever we may achieve in the future, over-achieve na kami. Bonus na lang,” Mamon added. “But definitely, we will prepare for NU. Mahirap naman yung participation na lang kami sa Final Four. Hopefully we give them a good fight.”
If necessary, the rubber match of the series is on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
In the other semis pairing, Ateneo forced do-or-die match after defeating Far Eastern University in five-sets behind four-time Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo’s record-setting 55-point explosion.
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