UAAP Volleyball

Now fully healthy, NU shows deadly max potential on cusp of UAAP title 4-peat

Rob Andrew Dongiapon

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Now fully healthy, NU shows deadly max potential on cusp of UAAP title 4-peat
With star spiker Buds Buddin back in full health, the NU Bulldogs return to their near-untouchable form, just in time to ramp up their UAAP men's volleyball title four-peat bid at UST's expense

MANILA, Philippines – Pulling one game closer to a four-peat, the NU Bulldogs promised to keep their foot on the gas as they surged to a dominant 25-17, 26-24, 25-19 sweep against the UST Golden Spikers in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball finals on Saturday, May 11.

“We are focused on our goal here – to dominate here in the UAAP,” said NU head coach Dante Alinsunurin in Filipino.

“Little by little, we are gaining back our confidence. We made sure that we cannot relax on these kinds of situations,” he added.

Buds Buddin and Nico Almendras controlled the tempo for the Bulldogs with 16 points apiece, while Leo Aringo added 15 markers.

“We need to provide extra effort because we know UST also wants this,” said Buddin, who missed NU’s last two elimination-round assignments against UST, that incidentally, both ended in rare Bulldogs losses.

Buddin has since been NU’s main offensive weapon since returning from injury, and to no one’s surprise, the Bulldogs have once again been near-untouchable like they always have been in the last decade.

“We know we will not reach the four-peat if we will not work hard for what we are lacking in the game,” added Almendras in Filipino.

Bucking a slow start, NU looked to be in cruise control for most of the way, withstanding the late second-set rally of the Golden Spikers to draw first blood in the title-series.

The win pulled the Bulldogs one game closer to their fourth straight UAAP men’s volleyball title, and their sixth overall crown.

Last year, NU swept UST in the finals series for their third consecutive crown and are now on the cusp of handing out the same fate to the Golden Spikers.

For Alinsunurin, NU’s series-opening win revealed a gauge of what they want to achieve to reach this championship.

“We want to continue what we are doing,” he said. “Although, there were mistakes on our part, I always tell my players to focus on what we can control and what we want to achieve here.”

“This was what I was waiting for. We clicked in terms of skills, in our floor defense, attacks, and blockings,” he added.

NU had more attacks, 46-39, and more blocks, 12-5, than UST to dominate Game 1.

Game 2 is scheduled on Wednesday, May 15, at the Mall of Asia Arena. –

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