Blazers top Altas, take semis top seed

Mark Escarlote on Jan 27, 2017 03:40 PM
Blazers top Altas, take semis top seed
John Vic De Guzman sizzled with 23 points to power College of St. Benilde past Perpetual Help to clinch the semifinals top seeding.

John Vic De Guzman was unstoppable leading College of St. Benilde to clinching the no. 1 seed in the Final Four after the Blazers silenced defending champion Perpetual Help, 25-21, 25-23, 25-14, Friday in their 92nd NCAA men’s volleyball playoff at The Arena in San Juan.

Both teams assured of a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals starting Tuesday but CSB took the top spot to set an explosive showdown with no. 4 seed Arellano University.

The Blazers drew strength from De Guzman with the graduating hitter dropping game-high 23 points.

De Guzman, who also starred in the hit movie Seklusyon, punched 20 kills, had a two kill blocks and a service ace while adding seven digs for an all-around performance for the Taft-based squad.

The win also served as a sweet revenge for the Blazers with their only loss in the elimination round coming at the hands of the repeat-seeking Altas. CSB and Perpetual were tied at 8-1 after the elims.

Isaah Arda and Owen Bacani combined for 16 points for the Blazers.

No player in the Las Pinas-based squad scored in double figures with Rey Taneo, skipper Manuel Doliente and Esmail Kasim also limited to only seven points each.

Perpetual will take on San Beda College, the only team that has defeated the Altas so far, in the other semis pairing.

In the women's playoff for no. 3 spot, defending champion College of St. Benilde defeated San Beda College, 25-19, 25-23, 17-25, 25-18, in a preview of their stepladder semifinals match set Tuesday.

The winner of the first semis knockout match will take on twice-to-beat Arellano University for the right to face thrice-to-beat San Sebastian College in the Finals.

In the juniors division, Perpetual Help routed AU, 25-18, 25-23, 25-14, in the first phase of the stepladder semifinals to keep its title-retention bid alive.

Paul Solamin led the Junior Altas with 14 hits while Marvien Castillo and Ivan Encila scattered 13 and 12 points, respectively, to help Perpetual survive and forge another grueling match against the twice-to-beat Emilio Aguinaldo Brigadiers on Tuesday.

Lyceum of the Philippines is already waiting in the Finals armed with a thrice-to-beat advantage after sweeping the elimination round.





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