Philippine volleyball

NU stars shine anew, push Cignal to dethroning brink in Spikers’ Turf finals

JR Isaga
NU stars shine anew, push Cignal to dethroning brink in Spikers’ Turf finals

LEADER. NU star Mike Buddin huddles the Nationals after a point at the 2022 Spikers' Turf Open Conference.

PVL Media Bureau

NU-Sta. Elena stars Mike Buddin, Nico Almendras, and Joshua Retamar stuff the stat sheet as the Nationals take Game 1 of the best-of-three Spikers' Turf finals against defending champion Cignal

MANILA, Philippines – NU-Sta. Elena is one win away from winning the 2022 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference championship after downing defending champion Cignal in four sets, 25-21, 20-25, 25-23, 25-18, at the Paco Arena on Thursday, September 29.

The Nationals’ stars all came out to play as Mike Buddin led the tone-setting win with 22 points off 17 attacks, 3 blocks, and 2 aces, while Nico Almendras backstopped with a 20-point effort.

National team setter Joshua Retamar churned out 26 excellent sets to help the reigning UAAP champions push Cignal to the brink.

Four HD Spikers breached double-digit scoring in the loss, led by Louie Ramirez’s 14 points, while Marck Espejo scored 13 with 22 excellent receptions. Owen Suarez added 22 excellent sets in the losing effort.

NU can now complete its dethroning bid with a series sweep on Saturday, October 1, 5:30 pm.

Meanwhile, PGJC-Navy made quick work of VNS-One Alicia in Game 1 of the battle for bronze earlier in the day, 25-20, 25-19, 25-21.

Joeven dela Vega was the game’s lone double-digit scorer with 14 points off 10 attacks, 3 blocks, and an ace, while EJ Casana erupted for 20 excellent sets in the three-set conquest.

Ish Polvorosa paced the loss with 16 excellent sets as Ben San Andres was held to just 9 points – still a team-high.

The Navy will also shoot for a series sweep for the third-place finish on Saturday, 2:30 pm.

However, if NU-Sta. Elena wins the championship that day, but VNS-One Alicia ties the bronze medal series at 1-1, the series will still immediately end, and tiebreakers will be used to determine the bronze medal winner. –

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