MANILA, Philippines -- National University swept University of Perpetual Help, 25-22, 25-22, 25-16, to march to the Finals of the V-League Men’s Collegiate Challenge at the Paco Arena on Wednesday.
Michaelo Buddin scored 20 points built on 19 attacks on top of excellent receptions to power the Bulldogs to a seventh straight victory, and a spot in the finals of the preseason tournament.
Veteran Nico Almendras continued to shine for National U, contributing 13 points on nine attacks, two aces and two blocks while Obed Mukaba took care of the middle to finish with 10 points he laced with four blocks.
“Sobrang thankful ako sa naging performance namin. Although nag-struggle pa din sa mga unforced errors pero credit sa Perpetual, talagang lumaban sila,” said NU head coach Dante Alinsunurin.
The Bulldogs, who lorded it over the tough field in the recent Spikers’ Turf, will dispute the championship with University of Santo Tomas.
The Tiger Spikers fought back from a hard opening set setback with a sweep of the next three as it subdued Ateneo, 25-27, 25-17, 25-20, 25-16, to seal a title showdown with the fancied NU side.
Josh Ybañez unloaded 19 attack points, hit four aces and came through with a block to lead the Tiger Spikers’ big comeback against the Eagles in their spirited duel for the right to face the Bulldogs in the finals set Sunday starting at 10 a.m., also at the Paco Arena.
Gboy de Vega added 19 markers while Edlyn Colinares and Jay Rack dela Noche scored 10 points each for the Espana-based squad.
“Yung concern namin ay yung first set, they were over-eager and anxious. I just reminded them to just keep their focus kasi we gave up almost 20 points on our errors,” said UST mentor Odjie Mamon. “So, they played their usual game in the next three sets.”
Ken Batas put in a 15-point performance while Abai Llenos added 14 markers and 11 excellent receptions for the Blue Eagles, who will dispute the bronze medal with the Altas at 5 p.m., also on Sunday.
Louie Ramirez led Perpetual Help with 18 points and finished with four excellent digs as the Altas dropped to the bronze medal match.
Earlier, San Beda U and Far Eastern U disposed of their respective rivals in varying fashions to arrange a duel for fifth place.
The Red Spikers outhit and outplayed the Arellano U Chiefs to fashion out a 25-15, 25-19, 25-17 victory while the Tams toughened up in the decider to repulse La Salle, 25-20, 25-20, 23-25, 22-25, 15-9.