NU’s Bullpups cruise to inter-coll volley title
The National University Bullpups completed their fairy tale run and swept past National College Athletic Association champion Arellano University to win the National Inter-College Volleyball Championship Thursday at the University of the Cordilleras here.
NU was more devastating in the finals as the Bullpups cruised to a no sweat 25-23, 25-20, 25-18 victory that saw UAAP most valuable player Faith Nisperos named the tourney’s MVP beating fellow Bullpup Princess Robles.
Robles, the UAAP finals MVP, was named the best outside hitter even as Joyme Cagande as best setter and 14-year old Mikaela Belen, who scored four straight markers for the set point during the first, as best opposite attacker.
The four were all instrumental in the three set sweep in the finals with Robles practically scoring at will including a ferocious spike from the left corner setting up the set point in the second set then aced her service to complete the come from behind win during that set.
“We really learned from our one set setback during the eliminations. We have to work as a group at pinag-aralan namin ang aming mga pagkakamali (during our first meeting),” said the Iloilo find.
“The kids performed way above our expectations,” summed coach Raymund Castillo.
“We are on the right track for our preparation for the UAAP. Our mission is not to win but to improve as a team,” he added.
This as the Falcons won in straight sets over surprise finalist National College of Business Arts which upset bracket A leader Mapua University.
Adamson had a masterful 25-18, 25-20, 25-19 win over NCBA.
Mapua, erstwhile an institute of technology, gained its university status also on the same day, salvaged third place by beating host UC in three sets, 25-16, 26-24, 25-19.
“I was satisfied with the boys performance. Dikit kahit lamang sa tao, sa height,” said UC mentor Henry Esquejo, who took Mapua to the limit during the eliminations but still lost, 12-25, 22-25, 25-21, 25-23, 12-15.
Adamson’s John Philip Yude was named MVP, even as teammate Leo Miranda was adjudged best outside hitter.
Meanwhile, local champion University of Baguio survived a gritty Lyceum of the Philippines University in another five setter for the two squads to salvage third place.
But the 19-25, 25-21, 31-33, 25-21, 15-2 victory was a bitter sweet win for the Lady Cardinals when the Lady Pirates walked out due to spotty calls.
UB was leading 8-2 as the two squads were about to change court but LPU refused to play leading tournament officials to declare the local team winner.
During the third set, it was UB which threatened to pull out of the game as the two squads changed leads with LPU finally pulling a winner.
LPU appeared to be heading to avenge its eliminations defeat when it led 4-0, but UB fought back to take a 20-18 lead and never looked back.
The two teams finished third and fourth, respectively after the eliminations, behind top ranked National University Bullpups and defending champion
The tournament named after its founder and former Philippine Volleyball Federation president Pedro Mendoza saw only saw six teams in the women’s side and eight in the men’s. It was also the smallest participation.
The Bullpups were allowed to join to help the team improve and prepare them for other competitions including international, said officiating head Yul Benosa, former coach of the host’s volleyball teams and later athletic director.
But the lasses instead dominated with four sets win on AU, UB and UC and a sweep of NCBA.
Other awardees of the four day event co-hosted by UB were: Mapua’s Alfredo Pagulong was 2nd best hitter, Adamson’s Paolo Publico (middle blocker), Daryl Valenzuela of NCBA as 2nd best blocker, Rence Melgar of Adamson (libero), NCBA’s Lee Jumbo Nidua as setter and UC’s Rudolp Stephen Marinas as server.
The awardees from Arellano were: Cherry Anne Buemia (libero), Jovielyn Prado (2nd outside hitter) and Andrea Marzan as best blocker.
Lyceum’s Cherilyn Sindayan was server and UB’s captain Carmela Dicksen was 2nd blocker. Lyceum of the Philippines – Manila captain was named best server. Pigeon Lobien