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NU regains share of lead

Games on Tuesday:
(Paco Arena)
2:30 p.m. — Sta. Elena vs VNC-One Alicia
5:30 p.m. — Cignal vs Navy

National University-Sta. Elena came out with guns blazing on a rainy Saturday, flattening Santa Rosa, 25-16, 25-16, 25-22, to regain a share of the lead with idle Cignal in the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference at the Paco Arena in Manila.

The Nationals imposed their will early to set the tone for the rout, racing to a 14-7 bulge on their way to the nine-point romp.

They trailed in the early going of the second frame, 6-7, but regrouped in time, toughened up on defense and held the City Lions to just nine points the rest of the way while pouring in 19 points of their own.

“Before we started, I told the them that we should play within the system no matter who we are facing,” said NU-Sta. Elena coach Dante Alinsunurin, who drew a 12-point performance from top hitter Angelo Almendras and 10 points from MJ Fortuna.

But the veteran coach opted to rest his frontliners in the third with Fortuna taking charge to complete the straight-set victory that came after a grind-out five-set escape over Navy last Tuesday.
NU-Sta. Elena also repulsed Army in four last 1 September.

“I used my second six since I will be needing them in future games,” Alinsunurin added.

Almendras also came through with seven excellent receptions while Michaelo Buddin finished with eight points and playmaker Joshua Retamar produced 10 excellent sets while tallying a team-high four kill blocks for a six-point output against former coach Edu Lirio.

Congo’s Obed Mukaba slowed with five points in a two-set stint after a 17-point performance against Navy he highlighted with 10 kill blocks.

Andrew Barilea and Jade Disquitado scored eight points apiece for the City Lions, whose third loss in four games dropped the team to fifth place in the single round elims of the tournament.

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