UAAP volleyball: No time to sulk for NU Bulldogs after wake-up call

UAAP volleyball: No time to sulk for NU Bulldogs after ‘wake-up call’

/ 05:42 PM February 20, 2024

NU Bulldogs UAAP volleyball

NU Bulldogs.–UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — National University coach Dante Alinsunurin wants the Bulldogs to take the opening loss to University of Santo Tomas–their first defeat in five years–in stride as they seek to recover from it in the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball tournament.

The Bulldogs opened their “four-peat” quest off the wrong foot after their 34-game winning streak was snapped by the University of Santo Tomas Golden Spikers with a 23-25, 24-26, 19-25 loss on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.

Alinsunurin admitted he felt a tinge of regret after their unbeaten run was ended but they have to take it as a challenge.

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“I told them that this is a challenge. We had regrets after the loss but this is a wake-up call,” said Alinsunurin, whose squad’s previous defeat was on February 16, 2019 against Far Eastern University, 25-12, 25-16, 25-19.

“UST worked hard in the game. We were there but we gave up a lot of unforced errors that’s why it was hard for us to fight back,” he added.

NU Bulldogs coach Dante Alinsunurin UAAP volleyball

NU Bulldogs coach Dante Alinsunurin.–UAAP PHOTO

Alinsunurin said graduating setter Joshua Retamar needs to step up in leading his teammates, who missed Michaelo Buddin due to a right thumb injury. But he was pleased with the performance of his rookies Jade Disquitado and Rwenzmel Taguibalos

“Owa has to step up as a leader because we have a lot of new players on the court. He has to manage them during the game,” he said. “Taguibolos and Jade did well. We just need to maximize our game plan next time. 

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The longtime NU coach added that they have to go back to the drawing board like they did in 2019 when they lost their first game of Season 81 but went on to rack up 34 consecutive wins and three straight championships.

“It won’t be easy for us. We have to work hard for whatever we started after our first loss in 2019,” said Alinsunurin. “We have to forget this and continue working.”

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NU tries to bounce back against Ateneo on Saturday at noon at MOA Arena. 

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TAGS: Dante Alinsunurin, NU Bulldogs, UAAP Season 86, uaap volleyball

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