NU, FEU clinch twice-to-beat advantage in UAAP volleyball Final Four
Bryan Bagunas and the NU Bulldogs secure the top spot with a 12-2 win-loss record. Marlo Cueto

NATIONAL University and Far Eastern University clinched twice-to-beat advantages in the Final Four with big wins on Sunday in the UAAP Season 80 volleyball tournament on Sunday at the MOA Arena.

Bryan Bagunas showed the way as the NU Bulldogs scored a 25-23, 21-25, 25-23, 25-19 win to snap a 13-match skid to Ateneo dating to Season 77.

Bagunas had 19 points, eight digs and 13 excellent receptions for the Bulldogs, who finished No. 1 at the end of the elimination round with a 12-2 win-loss record.

“Napaka-importante ng twice-to-beat advantage, lalo na sa morale ng mga player,” said NU coach Dante Alinsunurin.

“So ito ang laking tulong sa amin na nakuha namin 'yung No. 1. Sana magtuloy-tuloy lang to sa semis at kung papalarin, sa Finals.”

Madzlan Gampong and Kim Malabunga had 13 points apiece for NU, while skipper Francis Saura chipped in 11 in a match that lasted almost two hours.

Four-time MVP Marck Espejo tallied 23 points and 16 excellent receptions for Ateneo, while Ron Medalla had 14.

The Blue Eagles ended the eliminations in third spot with an 11-3 record.

FEU defeated La Salle, 23-25, 25-16, 28-26, 25-20, to clinch the No. 2 spot with a 12-2 slate.

JP Bugaoan led the way for the Tamaraws with 15 points, skipper Richard Solis scored 13, Jude Garcia had 12 points and Redijohn Paler added 11.

Graduating La Salle players Arjay Onia scored 16 and Raymark Woo had 11 markers to end their UAAP career. 

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