NATIONAL University (NU) took down reigning NCAA champion University of Perpetual Help, 25-18, 27-25, 23-25, 25-16, to open its Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference campaign on a high note on a rainy Sunday at The Arena in San Juan City.
Fresh from delivering the Reinforced Conference championship to Air Force few weeks ago, Bryan Bagunas jumpstarted the Bulldogs’ PVL title quest with a rousing performance of 24 points built on 19 kills, three blocks and a pair of service aces.
Rookie Angelo Almendres made a solid debut for NU, scoring 13, while mainstays Madz Gampong and Kim Malabunga added 11 and 10 markers, respectively.
“Mataas talaga 'yung respeto namin sa Perpetual. Alam ko naman kung paano magpatakbo ng team si coach Sammy (Acaylar),” NU Head Coach Dante Alinsunurin said. “Ginusto lang ng mga bata na manalo ngayon. Sa totoo lang, hindi pa kami 100 percent. Nasa paghahanda pa lang talaga kami pero nadaan lang sa tiyaga talaga.”
NU joined UAAP rivals UP, UST and Adamson on top of the standings after winning their first matches. The Bulldogs eye second win against College of Saint Benilde Blazers on Wednesday at 12 p.m.
Ronniel Rosales and returning Esmail kasim had 14 and 12 points, respectively. NCAA MVP and Rookie of the Year Joebert Almodiel was limited to 10 points for the Altas, who will try to bounce back next week against FEU at 10 a.m.