UAAP: NU clinches twice-to-beat, overcomes FEU in men's volleyball | Inquirer Sports

UAAP: NU clinches twice-to-beat, overcomes FEU in men’s volleyball

/ 01:39 PM April 16, 2023

Michaelo Buddin NU Bulldogs UAAP

Michaelo Buddin. UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Michaelo Buddin and Nico Almendras helped defending champion National University to clinch a twice-to-beat advantage, turning back Far Eastern University, 28-26, 25-21, 26-28, 25-23, in the UAAP Season 85 men’s volleyball tournament on Sunday at Philsports Arena.

Rookie spiker Buddin unleashed a team-high 24 points and had 22 excellent receptions for the Bulldogs, while Almendras delivered 17 points and 15 receptions to stay unbeaten in 11 games — three games away from an outright Finals berth.

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The win of NU also clinched the second twice-to-beat incentive for the idle University of Santo Tomas, which holds a 10-1 record.

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“We will keep the same mindset,” said NU coach Dante Alinsunurin in Filipino. “As long as we need to work hard in practice. We will work on the things that we need to improve like our unforced errors. We have to reduce it for our upcoming games.”

Ken Malinis also powered the Bulldogs with 13 points including five blocks. Obed Mukaba chipped in 12 points off seven attacks, three blocks, and two aces, while Gerard Diao also scored 12 markers.

“It was a good game. Both teams gave their best. Although there were times that we could have gotten the lead,” said Alinsunurin on their 1-7 start in the fourth set. “I told them to go back to basics because every time that we commit lapses in the game, we need to make adjustments and stay composed.”

NU dropped the extended third set as Zhydryx Saavedra’s down-the-line kill and Benny Martinez’s ace won the set for FEU.

The Tamaraws continued to push the Bulldogs in the fourth but Buddin tied the set at 22-all. Diao’s block on Reymond Sabanal and Almendras’ drop ball pushed NU at match point, 24-22, before Mark Calado saved a point.

Almendras ended the two-hour and 26-minute match with a kill to spoil Calado’s 28-point explosion and send FEU to its third straight loss, dropping to a 6-5 card.

Calado had 24 kills, two blocks, and two aces on top of 10 digs. Jelord Talisayan also stepped up for the Tams with 17 points and 13 receptions.

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TAGS: NU Bulldogs, UAAP Season 85

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