NU blanks Ateneo to move closer to UAAP men’s volley title repeat
The National University Bulldogs took game one of their finals match against the Ateneo Blue Eagles at the UAAP 76 men’s volleyball at the Araneta Coliseum Saturday, March 1, 2014. NU swept the Eagles in three sets, 29-27, 25-22, 25-22. Video by INQUIRER.net’s Noy Morcoso lll
MANILA, Philippines — National University blanked Ateneo, 29-27, 25-22, 25-22, in game one of the season 76 finals on Saturday to move closer to a repeat of the UAAP men’s volleyball championship.
Edwin Tolentino paced the Bulldogs with 12 points, including the clincher, with Reuben Inaudito and Peter Torres combining for 19 markers.
NU actually struggled to pull away from Ateneo and only led by as many as five, but leaned on its remarkable finish to wrap the game up in straight sets.
“The boys sometimes forget our game plan, so we have to remind them all the time that we should focus on our blocking and set plays,” said head coach Dante Alinsunurin.
The Bulldogs nearly let the first set slip after allowing the Blue Eagles to take the set point twice, but managed seal it with a 4-1 run.
NU dominated blocking, scoring 10 — three from topscorer Tolentino — compared to Ateneo’s five.
Marck Jesus Espejo had 19 kills, all but two from spikers, for the Blue Eagles, but it wasn’t enough to help them repeat their second round win over the Bulldogs.
Game 2 of the best-of-three finals is on Wednesday also at Smart Araneta Coliseum with the Bulldogs gunning for the kill.
“We want to finish it in game 2, because if we let the series get to game 3 the pressure will add up further,” Alinsunurin admitted.