Altas regain title in epic Game 3 showdown with the Generals

Mark Escarlote on Jan 26, 2016 06:05 PM
Altas regain title in epic Game 3 showdown with the Generals
Sinabi ko sa kanila na ipakita nila ang pusong Perpetual -- Altas coach Sammy Acaylar

Perpetual Help regained the title it lost last year, pulling the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals off the throne Tuesday in a grueling best-of-three series that went the distance.

The Altas hoisted its 11th crown overall after a miraculous 25-22, 23-25, 29-27, 22-25, 17-15, escape over the feisty Generals, who were just four points away from a repeat title, in Game 3 of the 91st NCAA men’s volleyball Finals at The Arena in San Juan.

Perpetual fell behind, 5-11, in the fifth set but still found a way to mount a 6-0 rally to tie the frame. The two teams exchanged points and were tangled for the last time at 15-all. EAC’s Nicco Bihag committed a crucial net touch error and behind the loud cheer of the Altas fans Warren Catipay let loose the winning service ace - the setter's only point of the game - to end the two-hour, 40-minute match.

“Sabi ko sa kanila noon lumayo ang EAC sa fifth set. Sinabi ko sa kanila na ipakita nila ang pusong Perpetual and nothing is impossible kung gugustuhin ng lahat (na manalo),” said Altas coach Sammy Acaylar, the architect of all of Perpetual’s men’s title.             

“Hangga’t hindi pa nakakarating sa 15 yan hindi pa tapos ang laban. Kahit pa one point na lang sila, kaya nating habulin yan,” he added. “Kaya sabi ko puso lang ‘yan. Pusong Perpetual and that’ it nahimasmasan ang mga players ko.”        

Finals Most Valuable Player Rey Taneo Jr. and outgoing senior Bonjomar Castel scored 18 points each to pace the Las Pinas-based squad, the four-peat champion tat lost the crown last season after falling short in the semifinals. 

Relan Taneo and Manuel Doliente finished with 11 markers each for Perpetual, which dealt the Generals their third straight championship head-to-head losses.        

EAC opened the series with a 25-22, 14-25, 25-14, 25-16 before Perpetual equalized in Game 2 last Friday, 20-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-19.

“Nagkaroon lang talaga kami ng kakulangan sa tao. Kita naman na si Howard (Mojica) may iniinda e,” Generals coach Rod Palmero said of the back-to-back Most Valuable Player winner, who played despite nursing a right shoulder strain. “Hindi namin siya mapuwersa na maglaro ng 100% pero they gave their best para makuha ulit ang championship, hindi nga lang pinalad.”

Mojica, who has exhausted all his five playing years, was scored only 19 points after logging 22 points each in Games 1 and 2. Israel Encina registered 28 markers, 19 coming off kills, while Kerth Melliza finished with 19 for the Generals, who gave away 48 points off errors.




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