Bulldogs test Wildcats’ grit
Surprise performer National College of Business and Arts (NCBA) faces its biggest test yet as the Wildcats tackle the similarly unbeaten National University Bulldogs Wednesday in the Spikers’ Turf Collegiate Conference.
The Wildcats and the Bulldogs, both toting 2-0 records in Group A, shoot for a quarterfinal berth in the 3 p.m. match at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Although the Wildcats have emerged among the unlikely leaders, NCBA coach Ernesto Balubar said his team’s impressive start hardly surprised him.
“The team has been responding accordingly,” Balubar said of his Wildcats, who pulled off back-to-back upset wins over Far Eastern University and Mapua. “They’re just doing what we do in training.”
In Group B, La Salle and St. Benilde go for their second triumph in three games versus separate opponents.
The Green Archers clash with winless sister school De La Salle-Dasmariñas at 5 p.m., while the Blazers take on another tailender in Arellano at 1 p.m
Group A’s Emilio Aguinaldo College and Group B’s Ateneo already clinched the first two quarterfinal slots after staying unbeaten in three games.
Only the top four squads in each group will advance to the next round.
The Bulldogs still hold the advantage over the Wildcats with veteran setter Vince Mangulabnan keeping the team steady despite the graduation of power hitter Peter Torres.
“Vince has really been our advantage,” NU coach Dante Alinsunurin said of Mangulabnan, the Best Setter in the last UAAP season. “We’re confident with Vince.”
Open hitters Fauzi Ismail and Bryan Bagunas also hope to lead NU against NCBA crew of Paul Domingo, Daryl Valenzuela and guest players Edwin Tolentino and Reyson Fuentes.
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