Altas punch ticket to the Finals, down Red Spikers
Mark Escarlote on Jan 31, 2017 02:30 PM
Perpetual Help advances to the Finals after surviving the upset-conscious San Beda College.
Rey Taneo Jr. muscled his way to 29 points to lead the repeat-seeking University of Perpetual Help back to the Finals with a come-from-behind, 18-25, 18-25, 25-20, 25-17, 15-11, win against third seed San Beda College Tuesday in the 92nd NCAA men’s volleyball Final Four.
The twice-to-beat Altas were in danger of falling into a do-or-die series decider after a sluggish start that had them trailing 0-2 in the match.
Perpetual Help head coach Sammy Acaylar made a gamble in the third set switching Taneo Jr. from the opposite position to open spiker while putting Esmail Kasim at opposite.
It paid off as the move confused the defense of the Red Spikers, who failed to adjust just in time.
“Noong third set nagpalit ako ng position. Yung opposite ko na si Taneo ginawa kon siyang outside tapoos si Kasim na outside ginawa ko siyang opposite kasi hindi gumagana si Kasim kaya pinalitan ko,” said Acaylar. “Noong third set nag-effect siya. Si Taneo kasi ang nagku-cool ng team namin na masyadong pressured. Pina-follow ko na lang siya hanggang noong fourth set at fifth set ang ganoong posisyon. Pero during our practice di namin nae-ensayo yan. It’s just a matter of experiment and in case na mag-go siya itinuluy-tuloy ko na lang.”
Taneo Jr. excelled with an unexpected switch of role, scoring his career-high anchored on 26 kills, two aces and a kill block for the Las Pinas-based squad. Skipper Manuel Doliente had 12 points while Kasim had 10.
The Altas will face Friday in the best-of-three Finals College of St. Benilde, which swept Arellano University, 27-25, 25-20, 25-14, in their semis pairing.
Adrian Viray and Mark Enciso led San Beda with 21 and 14 points, respectively.
In the juniors division, Perpetual Help kept its title-retention bid alive as it downed Emilio Aguinaldo College, 23-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-19, to force a do-or-die match on Friday in the last phase of the stepladder semifinals.
The winner of the winner-take-all match will take on the Lyceum of the Philippines University Junior Pirates, who swept their way to the Finals in seven games and will enjoy a thrice-to-beat edge there.
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