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NU foils FEU comeback for an unblemished 7-0 record

By Anton Roxas Posted Jan 12th 2014

NU finished the first round unbeaten at 7-0 after surviving a spirited comeback bid by FEU.

National University was one the verge of completing an easy three set win over Far Eastern University.

But, the former champions refused to go down quietly.

Despite facing match point in the third set, the Tamaraws managed to string up a series of points to extend the match. However, when the dust finally settled, it was the Bulldogs who were left standing as they stopped FEU’s comeback attempt to win, 25-18, 25-18, 24-26, 18-25, 16-14 in their first round matchup on Sunday, January 12, 2014 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

FEU head coach George Pascua made a surprising adjustment in the third set by replacing starting setter Manolo Refugia with Ronchette Villegas. With the sophomore setter orchestrating the offense, the Tamaraws found a way to stay alive.

In the fourth set, Pangasinan recruit Jeric Gacutan sprained his left ankle after landing awkwardly from a block attempt. Raymond Bautista stepped in to replace the fallen Tamaraw and helped the team force a deciding fifth set.

The match finally ended after FEU committed a receiving error on the final rally. Joshua Barrica was in receiving position when libero Rikko Marmeto got in the way and hit the ball, which sailed out of bounds.

Team Captain Ben Inaudito topscored for the Bulldogs with 17 points. Edwin Tolentino and  Berlin Paglinawan contributed 16 and 12 points each.

Karl dela Calzada and Greg Dolor combined for 37 points for the Tamaraws in a losing effort.

NU remains perfect with a 7-0 record while FEU’s five game win streak was put to a halt after suffering their second loss of the season.

Also, the University of the Philippines defeated the University of the East, 20-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-8 to improve their record to 3-4. The Red Warriors remained winless at 0-7.