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NU looks to do well in Spikers’ Turf
NOW carrying the banner of Archipelago Builders, National University hopes to perform well behind its second team in the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference.
Behind the open spikers Nico Almendras and Mike Buddin, Congolese middle blocker Obed Mukaba and top playmaker Josh Retamar, the Bulldogs bucked the odds in winning the Spikers’ Turf comeback tournament last year.
NU stunned Marck Espejo-led Cignal HD to clinch the Open Conference crown then outdueled University of Santo Tomas to claim the V-League Collegiate Challenge title.
Almendras, Buddin, Mukaba and Retamar, however, along with the other key players, won’t be around to anchor the Bulldogs’ title-retention bid since the Spikers’ Turf will be held alongside with the UAAP men’s volleyball tournament set to open in late February.
“We are fielding a young team,” said Dong dela Cruz, one of NU coach Dante Alinsunurin’s trusted assistants.
Holdovers Mac Bandola, Ahmad Abdul, libero Marco Maclang and setter Joseph Bello and newcomers Jan Abanilla, Joelbert Doromal, John Estrada, Edgar Florescan, Zulrich Gonzalez, Michael Hernandez, Bryan Jaleco, Leo Ordiales, Rhoy Parce and Rwenzmel Taguibolos.
Some of them have played together with the UAAP-bound players in the V-League, as well as in the PNVF Champions League for Men.
Cignal and newcomer Imus and Cotabato are tipped to contend for the crown in the tournament, which drew 11 teams, including PGJC-Navy, Army, Air Force, VNS, Santa Rosa, Iloilo and Vanguard Volleyball.
The Bulldogs will open their title retention drive on Wednesday against Vanguard Volleyball at 6 p.m.
Imus and Santa Rosa kick off hostilities tomorrow at 4 p.m. while Navy and Army tangle in the 6 p.m. main match.