Altas outlast Red Lions, move two wins away from elims sweep
Mark Escarlote on Jan 06, 2016 02:54 PM
University of Perpetual Help turned back San Beda in five sets to move closer to an elimination round sweep and an outright Finals berth with a thrice-to-beat advantage.
University of Perpetual Help flirted with disaster but still came out of The Arena in San Juan unscathed, dodging a major upset try by a feisty San Beda side Wednesday.
The Altas moved two wins away from sweeping the 91st NCAA men’s volleyball elimination round with a 23-25, 25-19, 27-29, 25-15, 15-7, escape against the Red Lions and kept their immaculate record intact with their seventh straight victory.
Allan Jay Salaan led all hitters with 14 hits but it was the troika of Relan Taneo, Neil Barry Ytorzaita and John Patrick Ramos who delivered in the stretch, coming through with a combined 23 points, most of which came in the fifth and final set.
Taneo had 12 points, Ranidean Abcede finished with 10 markers while Ytorzaita and Ramos with six and five points, respectively, for the Altas, which played solid defense in front of the net with 14 block kills while Jack Kalingking manned the floor like his life depended on it with 21 excellent receptions and 11 perfect digs.
Perpetual will face the defending champion Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals on Friday before capping its elims campaign on Sunday against the Letran Knights.
Meanwhile, Arellano University fueled its bid for a spot in the semifinals with an easy 25-19, 25-18, 25-20, win over Jose Rizal University.
The Chiefs improved to 5-3 record in fifth spot while the Heavy Bombers finished their forgettable season at the bottom with a 0-9 slate.
A sweep will give the Altas an automatic finals spot with a thrice-to-beat advantage.
Perpetual head coach Sammy Acaylar is looking forward to their marquee match versus the Generals.
"We're looking forward to that, it's going to be an interesting match," he said.
The Altas were outspiked by the Red Lions, 53-61, but got 47 free points off San Beda’s errors.
Just like it's men's counterpart, Perpetual Help's juniors team is also unbeaten, nailing its fifth win in row at the expense of San Beda with a quick, merciless 25-14, 25-19, 25-8 victory.
The Junior Altas have to hurdle the Brigadiers (5-1) and the Squires (2-4) in their final elims assignments to complete a sweep and book an outright trip to the finals with a thrice-to-beat assignment.
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