National U came away with a 25-21, 25-22, 25-22 victory over Perpetual Help on Saturday to clinch the first semifinal berth in Group A of the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Collegiate Conference at The Arena in San Juan.
The Bulldogs proved steadier than the Altas in down-to-the-wire finishes to complete the 74-minute sweep and advance to the Final Four of the mid-season conference of the league organized by Sports Vision and backed by Accel as official outfitter.
Madzlan Gampong fired 12 hits, including three blocks, while Bryan Bagunas and Fauzi Ismail combined for 21 points as the Bulldogs overcame the Altas’ superb hitting and blocking.
The Bustillos-based school also pounced on their rivals’ poor service reception to score four aces while Kim Dayandante produced 28 excellent sets, eight more than the combined Perpetual effort.
The win was NU’s fourth against a loss to close out its elims campaign on top while booting erstwhile co-leader Perpetual out of the semis picture with a 3-2 card.
Far Eastern U and La Salle, toting identical 3-1 slates, dispute the other semis seat in Group A on Wednesday.
Relan Taneo unloaded nine kills for an 11-hit effort but emerged as the lone Perpetual player to churn out a double-digit output as brother Rey Taneo ended up with nine and Esmail Kasim chipping in seven markers.
The Altas did win the battle of spikes and held their ground in blocking but just couldn’t unleash the strong finishing kick needed in tight-fought endgames.
Earlier, National College of Business and Arts repulsed San Beda College in a thrilling four-setter, 25-20, 23-25, 30-28, 36-34, to finish tied with their victim at 2-3 in Group B.
10 a.m. – PMMS vs St. Benilde
12 noon – UP vs Ateneo