MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The National University (NU) Bulldogs are back in the finals again as they defeated 4th-seeded University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tiger Spikers in straight sets, 25-13, 25-13, 31-29, in the UAAP Men’s Volleyball tournament on Sunday, April 22, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Bryan Bagunas led the Bulldogs as he exploded with a career-high 29 points off 24 spikes and 3 aces while making 10 excellent receptions.
This is the Bulldogs’ 6th straight finals appearance.
Just a set away from elimination, the Tiger Spikers tried to keep their finals hopes alive as they took their first lead in the 3rd set. But the Bulldogs responded with a 5-0 run to wrest the advantage back until they reached match point, 24-22.
A net touch error by Madz Gampong followed by a block by Tyrone Carodan, however, extended the set. Bagunas brought NU to their 5th match point and sealed the win with a block on Arnold Bautista.
Jayvee Sumagaysay topscored for UST with 10 points from 7 spikes, two blocks and one ace.
The Bulldogs dominated the first two sets, silencing the Tiger Spikers to only 13 points in both sets.
Bagunas, a 4th year player, has been in the finals in all 4 years of his UAAP career. However, he has never tasted a championship and hopes that this season will be different.
“Sa ngayon ano eh, parang lahat naman kami, kagustuhan naming bumalik sa Finals. Iisa naman ang goal namin, mag-champion,” said Bagunas.
(Right now, all of us want to make it to the Finals again, but we only have one goal which is to become champions.)
NU will face the winner of the Ateneo vs Far Eastern University do-or-die semis match.
NU (3) – Bagunas 29, Gampong 8, Natividad 7, Malabunga 6, Saura 3, Dayandante 3, Ismail 1.
UST (0) – Sumagaysay 10, Umandal 9, Icalina 5, Medina 3, Bautista 3, Carodan 2, Arbasto 1.
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