MANILA, Philippines—A focused National University swept a deflated Far Eastern University, 25-20, 25-20, 25-16, in the UAAP Season 85 men’s volleyball tournament at San Juan Arena.
The Bulldogs kept their winning streak going at six for the season thanks to the team’s “focus” despite the unfortunate incident first set when FEU’s CJ Cabatac suffered a gruesome injury.
“We have to go all out every game because our goal is we have to stay focused, every practice I remind them that,” coach Dante Alinsunurin said.
“I’ve seen a lot of those instances already. Unfortunately, it really happens inside the game but we had to re-focus on what we want to happen. What happened was an accident,” lamented Alinsunurin.
NU was in the lead 17-13 when Michaelo Buddin attempted a kill with Cabatac bracing for a block. On the way down, Cabatac stepped on Buddin’s foot and snapped the bone in his right leg.
The incident seemingly deflated the Tamaraws big time, as they were not able to recover momentum, losing in the first set, 25-20.
It seemed like the Tamaraws caught their wind back in the second set, keeping up with NU at 17-all, only for the Bulldogs to coast to a 5-1 rally, 22-18. FEU stayed alive at 24-20, with a chance to make a run and tie the match at one set a piece, Zhydryx Saavedra failed on his serve to give NU an 2-0 set lead.
Despite the Tamaraws showing life in the third, the Bulldogs went on a 5-0 run to take a pivotal 16-12 lead and retained composure until the end with Nico Almendras ending the match with a down-the-line kill.
Almendras and Buddin tallied 11 to their names for the undefeated and top-seeded Bulldogs.
Mark Calado was a one-man show for FEU, which dropped to 5-2 in the season, scattering 19 markers in the defeat.
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