UAAP: Retamar, Almendras confident of NU Bulldogs' future

UAAP: Graduating Retamar, Almendras confident of NU Bulldogs’ future

/ 07:12 PM May 18, 2024

NU Bulldogs' Owa Retamar, Nico Almendras during the UAAP Season 86 men's volleyball Finals against UST Golden Spikers

NU Bulldogs’ Owa Retamar, Nico Almendras during the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball Finals against UST Golden Spikers. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIREr.net

MANILA, Philippines — National University’s graduating duo Owa Retamar and Nico Almendras believe the remaining Bulldogs will continue their dynasty after achieving a rare ‘four-peat’ in the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball tournament.

Retamar showed his brilliance to execute the tactics of coach Dante Alinsunurin, while Almendras delivered the vicious championship-clinching hit to cap his two-way performance with a series sweep of University of Santo Tomas, led by two-time MVP Josh Ybañez, in Game 2 on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.

Although they kissed their collegiate careers goodbye, Retamar, who won back-to-back Finals MVP and Best Setter awards in his last two seasons, is confident that NU will continue the dynasty that Bryan Bagunas started, which he and Almendras continued in the past years.

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The star playmaker made sure that Buds Buddin, Leo Aringo, Peng Taguibolos, Choi Diao, and Rookie of the Year Jade Disquitado are ready to step up as leaders next year.

“Maybe what Nico and I will leave behind is how to adjust fast, like what coach Dante had taught us. We were able to adjust right away no matter whom we face and I’m sure we were able to teach that to Buddin, Leo, Peng and Choi,” Retamar said.

“They can see a more mature NU team next year and hopefully they’ll be able to get to play overseas.”

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After overcoming the hardest path out of coach Dante Alinsunurin’s six titles, the longtime NU tactician said his holdovers and other players are ready to step up when they begin life without Retamar and Almendras in their bid to a fifth straight crown next year. 

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“Our program doesn’t stop with the recruitment. We’re ready with players to step up after their departure. I hope we can be successful so we can make it to the Finals again,” Alinsunurin said.

“We trust our program at NU, and we continue to follow through with our program not just in the UAAP but also for the national team. I told me players, just keep on pushing so the international community can find out about the volleyball in the Philippines.”

For Retamar and Almendras, their last championship with NU is the start of new opportunities for their volleyball careers.

“We’re going to take what we learned from coach Dante to our next teams. We’re grateful that we had coach Dante as coach and for the trust he gave me, “he said.

Retamar, who will play for the Alas Pilipinas, urged continuous support for men’s volleyball, which continues to grow from the UAAP to the Spikers’ Turf.

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“I hope fans also support men’s volleyball so the players can showcase their talents and more players from the provinces can play here in Manila,” he said.

TAGS: NU Bulldogs, UAAP Season 86 volleyball

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