MANILA, Philippines -- National University pounced on an erratic University of Santo Tomas side to claim a 25-19, 25-21, 25-19 win on Sunday, putting them on the cusp of a sweep of the V-League Men's Collegiate Challenge.
Nico Almendras had 13 points on top of 14 excellent receptions, while Michaelo Buddin and Kennry Malinis backed him up with 11 points apiece. The Bulldogs took advantage of every miscue by the Tiger Spikers to fashion out a one-sided win.
"Maganda yung pinakita ng mga bata namin. Kita naman sa endgame na pagdating ng endgame, nakuha namin yung mga gusto naming mangyari like yung blocking namin, opensa namin, lahat nagtutuloy-tuloy," said NU head coach Dante Alinsunurin after his wards dispatched the Tiger Spikers in one hour and 17 minutes in the opener of their best-of-three title series.
The España-based squad actually trailed by one just point in the third frame, but the fancied NU quartet of Almendras, Malinis, Buddin and Obed Mukaba combined to put the Bulldogs beyond reach, 24-17.
Josh Ybañez came up with a hit and Jay Rack Dela Noche’s solid block on Buddin stalled the Bulldogs’ charge, but the Tiger Spikers yielded the match point on a service error by Ybañez.
UST gave NU 27 free points off their errors.
Dela Noche and Ybañez paced UST with 10 points apiece while Gboy De Vega chipped in eight markers.
NU shoots for the sweep on Wednesday at 2 p.m.
"Importante agresibo kami. Pagtatrabahuhan pa rin namin sa practice at tuloy tuloy pa rin ang ginagawa namin," added Alinsunurin, who also handles the country's men's national team.