NU’s Retamar bags UAAP Player of the Week plum

NU’s Joshua Retamar UAAP PHOTO

In back-to-back seasons, National University's volleyball teams achieved the improbable — earn an outright Finals berth by sweeping the elimination round.

Almost a year removed from the Lady Bulldogs' 16-0 sweep of UAAP Season 84, their men's team is looking to duplicate their feat. The Bulldogs won all 14 of their elimination round matches in Season 85, extending their winning streak to 32 games dating back to Season 81 in 2019.

Providing the steady hand in playmaking was setter Joshua Retamar, whose clinical performances earned the final Collegiate Press Corps UAAP Player of the Week citation for Season 85 presented by San Miguel Corporation and the Philippine Sports Commission.

He posted all-around stats of 19 excellent sets, six points, and eight digs in the 25-19, 22-25, 25-18, 25-21 decision against second place UST last April 26.

Crucial were his tosses to teammates that helped break a 17-all tie that would have sent the game into a deciding set.

Retamar was even more impressive during the record-setting 25-11, 28-26, 16-25, 25-23 win against the Ateneo Blue Eagles by putting up 22 excellent sets on top of four points.

“Masasabi ko na nandito kami sa Finals kami ulit, and siyempre gusto namin mag-champion sa men's volleyball,” Retamar said after the win.

“Ito ang ginagawa namin. Pinapakita namin ang talent namin. Para din sa next batch namin na ito ang dadalhin nila,” he added.

“Kung paano kami mag-lead ng team, so ayun ang gusto naming maipakita sa players na gustong mag-lead sa team.”

The Bulldogs withstood a 32-point explosion from Blue Eagle Kennedy Batas, which prevented a straight set sweep by the rampaging NU side.

“Siyempre, nakakainis yung ganon na sana straight sets namin pero natural lang naman na nangyayari sa game 'yun kaya sabi ko sa kanila simula ulit, strong start tayo,” explained Retamar.

Retamar is the second men's volleyball player, after UST's Josh Ybañez, to win the weekly citation that has MNL Kingpin, Tinapayan Festival, and Jockey as minor sponsors.

Retamar nosed out fellow NU stalwarts Bella Belen and Alyssa Solomon, UST captain Eya Laure, La Salle's Angel Canino, and Adamson's Kate Santiago for the honor.

The Bulldogs await the winner of the stepladder semifinals set to be disputed by La Salle, FEU, and UST.

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