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4:26 pm on 4 December 2022, Sunday
Romeo Braceros Jr.
Photo: NU Men's Volleyball Team - Bulldogs
The National University won the V-League Men's Collegiate Challenge championship on Friday by defeating UST, 25-23, 25-23, and 25-21, in a match that was on the line.
Thanks to a comeback by the Tiger Spikers in the third quarter led by Josh Ybaez, Gboy De Vega, Edlyn Colinares, and Charles Magpayo, the Bulldogs came dangerously close to blowing a significant 16-6 lead.
Kennry Malinis, on the other hand, scored on a hit to give NU a chance to win the match, but Nico Almendras served into the net, allowing UST a chance to do so.
After the Bulldogs defeated the Cignal HD Spikers in the most recent Spikers Turf, they won their second straight championship thanks to Malinis' breakout performance.
Late in the second frame, UST had a two-point advantage, but further mistakes allowed NU to equalize the score at 22 before Obed Mukaba put UST ahead with a drop jumper.
De Vega used a counterattack to tie the score again, but Mukaba did what he does best by controlling the middle and gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 set lead with back-to-back blocks.
Almendras, the tournament MVP, scored 12 points, while Malinis scored 12. Mukaba led the way with 14 points on eight attacks, five blocks, and an ace. Almendras also completed six digs and 21 excellent receptions.
With 15 points and 12 receptions, Ybañez led the Tiger Spikers, and De Vega had 14 points and 18 catches.
The Bulldogs won Game One, and after taking the first two sets in Game Two, they were on track to sweep the tournament. The Tiger Spikers fought back, forcing the sudden death with a 21-25, 19-25, 25-22, 25-23, and 15-12 squeaker.