De Guzman-led Rajah bests Lakan in Clash of Heroes
Team Rajah-Blue defeated Team Lakan-Red in five thrilling sets in Clash of Heroes.
Twenty-four aspirants heeded the call for one final scrimmage to determine the 18 players that will compose the national team and will carry the tri-color in the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur in August.
Minus some popular names, head coach Sammy Acaylar got a glimpse of players dedicated to serve the flag Monday in the Clash of Heroes event at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
All of the players gave their all, each vying for the remaining 17 slots.
“Well of course, I told my players to play their best because they are going to get their slots for this coming training pool for the SEA Games,” said Acaylar. “Sabi ko lang sa kanila, walang relax, walang bigayan. They have to give their best in this Clash of Heroes.”
John Vic De Guzman, the first member of the national squad after being named as team captain, led Team Rajah-Blue to a five-set 25-27, 25-23, 25-19, 18-25, 15-9, win over Team Lakan-Red in the exhibition match that also served as a fund-raising event for the benefit of the PHI team’s training in Japan and Korea set in July.
The former College of St. Benilde star and NCAA Season 92 Most Valuable Player De Guzman scored 19 points to lead Rajah while Alnakran Abdilla finished with 15. Dave Cabaron had 13 while Greg Dolor scored 11.
“Syempre unang-una sobrang satisfied ako as a team captain kasi makikita natin ‘yung puso ng bawat isa na gustong manalo and ialay ang sarili nila for the national team,” said De Guzman, who delivered CSB’s first NCAA title. “Teamwork lang ang nangibabaw kanina.”
National University standout Bryan Bagunas finished with 24 points while University of the East ace Edward Camposano had 13 markers for Lakan.
Some names that snubbed the event are four-time UAAP MVP Marck Espejo and four-time UAAP Best Setter Ish Polvorosa of Ateneo and Cignal players Peter Torres, Mark Alfafara, Bonjomar Castel, Herschel Ramos, Erikson Ramos, Lorenzo Capate and Anjo Pertierra of Mapua.
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