MANILA, Philippines – After dropping the 1st set, the National University (NU) Bulldogs stormed back against the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws and recorded a four-set win in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 81 men’s volleyball tournament on Saturday, May 11, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Unang-una po, talagang pinaghandaan po namin ‘tong Game 1 and yun nga po, pipilitin po talaga sana na makuha namin yung Game 1,” said Bryan Bagunas after leading the Bulldogs to a 21-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-18 victory that pushed them within a win of a second straight crown.
(First of all, we really prepared for this and we wanted to win Game 1.)
Bagunas led the defending champions with 18 points, while James Natividad chipped in 16 points in the best-of-three finals opener.
FEU team captain Richard Solis scored a team-high 18 points for the Tamaraws, who missed the opporunity to pounce on the Bulldogs after a solid start.
The Tamaraws claimed the 1st set, 25-21, as they produced 11 attacks, 4 blocks, and 2 aces versus the favored Bulldogs.
Both teams constantly traded attacks in the 2nd and 3rd sets, but it was the Bulldogs who emerged triumphant with clutch endgames for a pair of 25-23 set wins.
In the 4th set, NU blitzed FEU to grab an early 8-3 advantage heading into the set’s first technical timeout.
As the gap widened to 16-9, the Bulldogs only allowed the Tamaraws to score 9 points more to finish the match at 25-18.
NU will try to complete a series sweep against FEU in Game 2 on Wednesday, May 15, 12 pm, at the Mall of Asia Arena. – Rappler.com