UAAP: NU Bulldogs survive La Salle for Final Four edge

UAAP: NU Bulldogs survive La Salle for Final Four edge

/ 05:34 PM May 04, 2024

NU Bulldogs UAAP Season 86 men's volleyball

NU Bulldogs celebrate after beating the La Salle Green Spikers to claim the last Final Four bonus in the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball tournament.–MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — Buds Buddin took the matter into his own hands as he unleashed a career-high 32 points including the finishing blows to secure National University’s twice-to-beat bonus after surviving the gritty La Salle, 19-25, 25-21, 25-13, 21-25, 16-14, in the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball playoff on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Determined to close out the game, Buddin asked for the ball from Owa Retamar and accounted for the Bulldogs’ last three points to fend off the Green Spikers, who they will meet again in the Final Four on Wednesday at the same venue.

“Nung dikit na lumapit ako kay Kuya Owa at sinabi ko bigay mo ng bigay sa akin ako na tatapos. Thankful naman ako kay kuya Owa kasi grabe yung tiwala niya sa akin kahit andami kong namiss na games,” said last season’s 2nd Best outside spiker, who nailed 29 attacks and three blocks on top of 10 excellent receptions and six digs.


UAAP SCHEDULE: Season 86 volleyball Final Four

Buddin NU Bulldogs UAAP Season 86 men's volleyball

NU Bulldogs’ Michaelo Buddin.–MARLO CUETO/

“Ayoko din masayang yung trinabaho namin ng ilang weeks and yung effort namin sa loob ng court and training namin gusto ko lang maging worth it kaya everytime ibigay sa akin yung bola talagang 100 percent gagawin ko yung best ko na makakapuntos.”

NU trailed 13-12 after Buddin’s attack error and Noel Kampton’s ace, Leo Aringo tied the fifth set before Buddin took charge and scored three of the last four points to end the two-hour and 17-minute match.

Besides Buddin, Nico Almendras delivered 15 points and 16 excellent receptions. Choi Diao stepped up with 11 points including four blocks as Obed Mukaba missed the game due to illness, while Aringo added nine points.

It was the sophomore spiker’s second start since returning from a right-hand fracture, which sidelined him for nine matches in the elimination round.


READ: UAAP men’s volleyball: La Salle forces playoff for Final Four bonus

“Nung time na injured ako ang goal ko lang naman is everytime na nagrerehab ako na makabalik ng mas maaga. Hindi ko lang ineexpect na magagamit din agad ako, pag pinasok ako kailangan makakapuntos ako. Siguro nadaan ko din sa sipag naging worth it naman lahat,” he said.

NU coach Dante Alinsunurin admitted their road to a fourth straight title is tougher with La Salle pushing them to their limits. Still, he’s thrilled with the continuous development of Philippine men’s volleyball. 


“Masaya e kasi wala talagang dominanteng team ngayon, talagang makikita mo lahat lumalaban siguro may mga bagay lang na lumalamang kami sa sitwasyon,” he said. “{ero sa tingin ko yung talagang yung level natin sa men’s ngayon di lang sa UAAP, pati sa ibang liga na medyo gumaganda na. Siguro andiyan na talaga yung kagustuhan namin na umangat yung men’s [volleyball] natin dito.”

Kampton led La Salle’s gallant stand with 22 points, 13 receptions, and five digs. JM Roquillo had 20 points, while Vince Maglinao added 19 points, needing to beat the defending champion twice in the Final Four.

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TAGS: NU Bulldogs, UAAP Season 86

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