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Bulldogs bounce back, clobber Blue Eagles

NICO Almendras flexes his scoring prowess to power NU to a straight-set drubbing of Ateneo in the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball tournament. | Photograph COURTESY OF UAAP

Games today:

(Mall of Asia Arena)

9 a.m. — FEU vs UE (m)

11 a.m. — UST vs La Salle (m)

1 p.m. — FEU vs UE (w)

3 p.m. — UST vs La Salle (w)


Defending champion National University made quick work of Ateneo de Manila University, 25-22, 25-15, 25-17, to barge into the win column of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 86 men’s volleyball tournament Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Nico Almendras and Jade Disquitado flexed their muscles to power the Bulldogs as they vented their ire on the hapless Blue Eagles following their shocking opening day upset last week at the hands of University of Santo Tomas in an early rematch of the previous season’s finals.

“We played with confidence this time,” head coach Dante Alinsunurin said of his four-peat-seeking squad.

NU brushed off a shaky first set with the trio of Almendras, Disquitado and Leo Aringo Jr. taking care of business on offense anchored by veteran setter Owa Retamar’s heady plays.

“We struggled in the first set but come the second and third sets, my players were able to recover and played with confidence. That was missing in our last game,” Alinsunurin as the Bulldpogs rebounded from a straight-set defeat to the Golden Spikers which snapped their 34-match win streak.

NU’s 73-minute victory created an early logjam in the middle of the standings with the Blue Eagles, Adamson University, and De La Salle University tied with 1-1 win-loss cards.

Almendras delivered 18 points on an efficient 18-of-30 clip in spikes while Disquitado had 17 points on 15 attacks and two blocks to go with 15 excellent receptions.

Aringo chipped in 11 points including four blocks as the Bulldogs outgunned the Blue Eagles, 52-18, on attacks.

Ken Batas led the way for the Blue Eagles with nine points while Aimar Okeke and Jian Salarzon were held to just six points apiece.

Meanwhile, the Falcons swept University of the Philippines, 27-25, 25-15, 25-22, behind the 14-point eruption of Jude Aguilar.

Mark Cogumbal added 11 markers while Marc Paulino and Kenneth Menor combined for 18 points for Adamson, which kept the Fighting Maroons winless in two starts.

Louis Gamban was the lone UP player in double figures with 10.

In women’s play, Adamson eked out a 25-22, 25-22, 28-26 victory over UP to hand new coach JP Yude his first collegiate win.

Mayang Nuique, Ishie Lalongisip and AA Adolfo shouldered the Lady Falcons’ offense and played key roles in turning back the Fighting Maroons’ attempt for a comeback in the third set.

Adamson evened its record to 1-1 while UP dropped to 0-2.

The Fighting Maroons behind Niña Ytang, who scored five in a telling run, erased an 18-20 deficit and forced a couple of deuces with the last at 26-all.

However, Nuique came through with the thunderous running attack to put the Lady Falcons back at match point. Ytang pounded a quick kill but Adamson challenged a net touch on the UP middle blocker’s windup — which was deemed successful after the review to secure the straight sets triumph in one hour and 42 minutes.

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