May 29, 2024

UAAP Finals: Perfect NU send-off? UST rampage incoming? Game 2 expected to be a fiery battle

UAAP Finals: Perfect NU send-off? UST rampage incoming? Game 2 expected to be a fiery battle
The NU Bulldogs and the UST Golden Spikers will go at it once more in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 86 men's volleyball finals. | Art by Mitzi Solano/One Sports; Photos (c) RM Chua/One Sports

Since the start of the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball tournament, the storyline has always been centered on National University’s goal of a four-peat.

Now, the Bulldogs are just one win away from cementing history in UAAP and Philippine volleyball on Wednesday, May 15, 2:00 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

Perfect send-off for seniors?

A victory in Game 2 will also be the perfect send-off for NU’s graduating players, Owa Retamar and Nico Almendras.

The two have been vital in NU’s success over the past years, and with this being their final year, Retamar and Almendras will stop at nothing to achieve their goal for the Bulldogs.

[ALSO READ: UAAP: Days after NU graduation, Owa Retamar hopes to achieve historic 4-peat for Bulldogs]

Comeback in the works?

But standing in their way is the University of Santo Tomas, who has proven to be the only team in Season 86 capable of beating NU twice.

 

The Golden Spikers though faltered in Game 1, bowing to the mighty Bulldogs in straight sets, 25-17, 26-24, 25-19. 

Needing to win twice? Just a simple lookback at the Final Four will do.

Faced with a twice-to-win disadvantage, the Golden Spikers overcame the odds to defeat Far Eastern University and advance to the Finals.

[ALSO READ: UAAP: Gboy De Vega, Josh Ybañez get honest on UST's historic Final Four win over FEU]

Key numbers heading into Game 2

24 — NU’s Owa Retmar outclassed UST’s Dux Yambao in the setting department, as he finished with 24 excellent sets, while Yambao only had 15.

12 — The Bulldogs had 12 blocks in Game 1 as compared to UST’s seven.

11 — Reigning MVP Josh Ybañez, a usual 20-point scorer, was limited to just 11 markers in Game 1.

0 — In NU’s three-peat, no team has yet to force a winner-take-all Game 3.

But as they say, throw the numbers out come the Finals, as UST and NU lock horns once more for a chance at glory.

Game 2 will air on One Sports, the UAAP Varsity Channel, and the Pilipinas Live app.