Goliath-sized upset: UP downs erratic NU in 3 sets

UP scored its 2nd straight win, sweeping NU in impressive fashion, 25-19, 25-20, 31-29, in the UAAP Season 78 men’s volleyball tournament Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

Facing the tallest team in the league, the Fighting Maroons banked on Wendel Miguel — and the Bulldogs’ litany of unforced errors — to tie their victims at 2-1.

Read: Even without coach, NU still sweeps La Salle

Miguel, the junior spiker, didn’t seem to be fazed by NU’s tall blockers, finishing with 19 points off 16 hits, 2 blocks and an ace.

Taking advantage of the Bulldogs’ miscues, UP took set 1, before showing improved blocking and floor defense to take a 2-set lead heading into the 3rd frame.

Read: UP spiker Alfred Valbuena delivers when it matters

The Sampaloc spikers, with its towering rookie core helping ace setter Vince Mangulabnan, started strong in the last set, even taking a 5-point lead.

But team captain Alfred Valbuena came to save the day for the Maroons anew, scoring back-to-back points to tie the set at 22-all.

Read: With veterans on the bench, UP trounces UST

James Natividad then pushed NU to set point before Miguel delivered in crunch time to send the Diliman crew to match point.

With the game on the line, rookie Niccolo Consuelo, who scored 12 for the Maroons, fired an ace to settle matters. — By Joyce Palad