V-League: Green Spikers chomped by the NU Bulldogs, suffer a reverse sweep

The Green Spikers suffered a crushing loss to the defending V-League champions NU Bulldogs—who made a fiery comeback after being down two sets to none, 25-19, 25-23, 15-25, 22-25, 11-15, today, September 6, at the Paco Arena. 

La Salle team captain JM Ronquillo led his team with 29 points—28 of which came from spikes. His game-high tally was followed by a 19-piece from fellow star Noel Kampton, who had 16 spikes and three blocks. Vince Maglinao also chalked up nine points in the hard-fought match. 

Leading the charge for NU was Buds Buddin, who came up with 26 points, including 23 spikes and 12 successful receptions. Team skipper Leo Aringo Jr. followed suit with 23 markers of his own. Also contributing to NU’s total were Jenngerard Diao and Jade Disquitado, who each tallied 8 points. 

Breaking through deadlocks

An off-the-block hit coming from Ronquillo got things started for the Green Spikers and was immediately followed by the same from Maglinao, 2-1. It was a series of deadlocks in the early juncture of the match as both sides unleashed attacks from the wings. But Taft Spikers exhibited great composure as the team paraded with points coming from the pipe—courtesy of Kampton—to finally create some space in the matchup, 14-11. Despite the deficit, Aringo managed to squeeze in an attack to stop the bleeding for the Bulldogs, 14-12. It was the hot-handed Kampton who led the charge for La Salle with four points, sending both teams to the second technical timeout with La Salle on top, 16-12.

With a three-point advantage, the Green Spikers refused to be complacent, as Ronquillo and Del Pilar both managed to find holes in the NU defense, extending the lead to four, 19-15. It was a one-man show for the Sampaloc-based squad in the latter part of the set, as Aringo managed to brush the hands of the blockers to cut the disparity, 22-18. However, back-to-back attack points from utility spiker Ronquillo ushered La Salle to set point, 24-19. The spikers from Taft eventually drew first blood as NU committed an unfortunate setting error, 25-19. La Salle displayed near-perfect gameplay by limiting their unforced errors in the opening set to three. 

Tight race

After an inspiring first-set victory, DLSU went back and forth with NU in successive rallies to position the score at a 6-all deadlock. The continued exchange of scores was eventually broken by the crafty setter Poquita, sending the ball behind him to team captain Ronquillo, who pounced to get an open kill, 7-6. This spectacular play was followed up by a service ace from Poquita to give the Green Spikers a two-point advantage for the second set’s first technical timeout, 8-6. 

The exchange of blows carried on in the set, which saw the score even out at 11-all before a block point from Obed Mukaba and a kill from Buddin positioned the Bulldogs two points ahead, 13-11. The Bulldogs held a two-point advantage further into the set at 16-14 until two straight markers from Kampton equalized the score at 16-all. More exchanges followed, once again seeing NU hold a two-point lead, 19-17. 

A substitution from the Taft-based squad to put Yoyong Mendoza in for Maglinao proved to be a game-changer, as he immediately contributed to the match with a block point, 19-all. Both sides refused to let up in the set, with every point from one side being answered by a point from the other. Nearing the end of the frame, NU held the upper hand at 23-22, but La Salle’s star spikers Ronquillo and Kampton fought back with a dump ball and block point, respectively, to put the Green Spikers in the driver’s seat, 24-23. Off an NU timeout, Disquitado committed an attack error that captured DLSU’s set win and placed the match at two sets to nil in favor of La Salle, 25-23. 

Turning Tables

A different story arose in the third set as the spikers in blue and gold asserted their dominance all throughout the juncture. A tight battle between the middle blockers of both teams was witnessed in the early leg, with Diao and Joshua Rodriguez exchanging quick attacks and block points, 3-all. Both teams were neck and neck as Kampton converted an excellent dig from the libero Menard Guerrero to a point by hammering it down the line, 5-all. It was then followed by a series of attacks from NU to establish a two-point lead, 9-7. A see-saw of points sustained the cushion of the reigning UAAP champions, but Aringo’s deadly cross-court shots anchored the Bulldogs with a five-to-nothing run, 15-10. He furthered his side’s advantage with varied attacks coming from the right wing to put DLSU in a dangerous position, 21-12. Del Pilar rekindled hope for the Green and White as he denied a running attack from the Bulldogs and was accompanied by an off-speed shot courtesy of Kampton, 23-14. But back-to-back errors from DLSU permitted the NU Spikers to claim a demanding third-set win, 25-15. 

Losing grip

The squad from Taft immediately picked up the pace in the fourth set to take an early 6-1 lead, coming off a disappointing loss in the third set. The Bulldogs, however, clawed their way back with five straight points spearheaded by Aringo to even up the score at 6-all. La Salle was unable to stop the bleeding as consecutive errors from Maglinao and Poquita handed NU an 8-7 advantage entering the first technical timeout of the fourth set. 

It was a tightly-contested battle in the succeeding rallies, which was highlighted by an exchange of errors from both sides, which saw the Green Spikers gain a 13-12 lead off an attack error from the squad from Sampaloc. An emphatic block from the six-foot-six Mukaba put NU up 15-14 and was later followed up by yet another highlight play from the giant, who made a deafening down-the-line hit, 16-15. 

After the set’s second technical timeout, NU sparked a run led by the star outside hitter Buddin that went as far as a five-point advantage, 21-16. When the set was already looking to be yet another dominant victory for the Bulldogs, they strung together three straight errors that included two net touches to trim their lead down, 21-19. NU decisively spent a timeout to halt their skidding momentum. After the short break, Buddin quickly brought two points to the table in the next few rallies, 23-20. Ronquillo was able to get a kill that came off the hands of Jan Abanilla to set the score at 23-21, but a service error from Jules De Jesus—his third of the match—gave NU the set point, 24-21. A cross-court attack from Aringo marked the end of the set with the score at 25-21, sending the match to a fifth, deciding set. 

Falling Short

Following a heated affair between both sides, the Green Spikers sought to put an end to NU’s winning momentum. The Bulldogs clinched the first point of the deciding set, sealing a triple block on Kampton. However, La Salle returned the favor as they denied the high leap of Aringo, 1-all. But numerous unforced errors forced the Taft-based team to a timeout, 4-1. Gaining composure from the timeout, Maglinao pounded the ball across the court to cut the lead down to one, 4-3. The Bulldogs did not allow the Green Spikers to score another point as Buddin hammered two down-the-line hits to extend their advantage, 6-3. Despite Aringo committing a double contact error, the Golden Squad pulled off two consecutive points to send both teams to the opposite flank of the court. 

Maglinao converted an off-the-block hit to deplete the disadvantage imposed by NU that stirred a three-to-one run, 9-7. However, NU proved they were a well-oiled machine as they took the upper hand in the latter part of the match, claiming a four-point lead, 12-8. But their errors allowed La Salle to breathe a sigh of relief, diminishing the deficit by three, 13-10. Aringo proved he was the match’s MVP as he hammered the ball down the pavement twice to stun DLSU in a reverse sweep, 15-11. 

After the nail-biting match against the reigning league and UAAP champions, the Green Spikers now bear a 2-2 standing in the tournament. They seek to return to their winning ways in their remaining matches, in hopes of advancing to the elimination round of the V-League.

The DLSU Green Spikers will aim to bounce back against the prowess of the Emilio Aguinaldo College at 2 pm on Friday, September 8, at the Paco Arena.  

The Scores:

DLSU 2 – Ronquillo 29, Kampton 19, Maglinao 9, Rodriguez 4, Del Pilar 3, Mendoza 2, Poquita 2, Guerrero 0, Espejo 0, Encarnacion 0, De Jesus 0

NU 3 – Buddin 26, Aringo 23, Disquitado 8, Diao 8, Mukaba 7, Abanilla 1, Belostrino 1, Ancheta 0, Hernandez 0, Bandola 0, Gapultos 0
Set Scores: 25-19, 25-23, 15-25, 22-25, 11-15

Jaden Alberto

By Jaden Alberto

Zedi Perez

By Zedi Perez

Leave a Reply