May 29, 2024

UAAP: La Salle holds off NU in four-set thriller, Ateneo soars past UE in men's volleyball

UAAP: La Salle holds off NU in four-set thriller, Ateneo soars past UE in men
Vince Maglinao came alive for the DLSU Green Spikers in their crucial win over the NU Bulldogs in the second round of UAAP Season 86. | Photo (c) UAAP

De La Salle University outclassed defending champion National University in four grueling sets, 25-19, 25-17, 31-33, 27-25, to inch closer to securing a Final Four slot in the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball tournament at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, April 14.

The Green Spikers dominated the Bulldogs from the get-go as they took the first and second set with ease, before showing their composure in the decisive fourth frame after faltering in a thrilling third set, which went to NU.

Down 20-22 in the fourth, Vince Maglinao and Noel Kampton delivered La Salle's last six points, which included back-to-back hits, to seal the crucial victory for the Taft-based squad.

In the crucial moments of the match, it boiled down to determination and courage as Nico Almendras attempted to rally NU when the score reached 25-all in the fourth set.

However, Noel Kampton managed to penetrate the block, and Nathaniel Del Pilar made a clever play to return a floating ball, securing the victory for De La Salle after a match that lasted two hours and 17 minutes.

Following the decisive play, the Bulldogs sought to contest it by challenging a potential foot fault at the centerline, suspecting either Vince Maglinao or Del Pilar had crossed the line. But upon review, it was determined that neither of them had committed the infraction.

Maglinao led DLSU with 22 points on 19 attacks, two blocks, and one service ace, while Kampton added 18 markers to go along with 22 excellent receptions.

The Green Spikers are now 9-3 in the standings, just behind the Bulldogs who sit with a 10-3 record after the loss.

Nico Almendras did it all for NU with 22 points, to go along with 12 excellent digs and 39 excellent receptions. Buds Budin contributed 16 in the loss.

In the first game, Ateneo de Manila University bolstered its Final Four bid by securing a four-set victory against the University of the East, 25-17, 23-25, 25-19, 25-20.

With the win, the Blue Eagles now boast a 6-6 record, trailing just one game behind the University of Santo Tomas, who holds fourth place with a 7-5 mark. Both teams have two games remaining in their schedules.

Despite a setback in the second set, Ateneo regrouped and dominated the third set, taking a commanding lead of 14-7 and securing the win to move within one set of victory.

In the fourth set, Jettlee Gopio, Cyrus De Guzman, and Amil Pacinio led Ateneo to clinch the win in a match that lasted one hour and 57 minutes.

Ken Batas led the charge for the Blue Eagles with 25 points and eight digs. He supported by Jian Salarzon and Gopio with 16 and 13 points, respectively. Salarzon also showcased 22 excellent receptions in the victory.

On the other side, Angelo Reyes and Steven Aligayon contributed 12 points each for UE, with Aligayon also registering 14 excellent receptions.

With this loss, the University of the East suffered its fourth consecutive defeat, dropping to seventh place with a 1-10 record.