Altas, Blazers begin title duel
Mark Escarlote on Feb 03, 2017 09:58 AM
Perpetual Help begins its title defense against College of St. Benilde in the 92nd NCAA men's volleyball best-of-three Finals series opener.
Defending champion Perpetual Help and the College of St. Benilde Blazers begin their best-of-three 92nd NCAA men’s volleyball championship showdown series Friday at The Arena in San Juan.
Game time is set at 1:30 p.m. and will air live over ABS-CBN S+A and ABS-CBN S+A HD and via livestream on sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/ncaa.
The Altas are on the prowl for a repeat crown and 11th overall title but are expected to face a tough battle with the Blazers, who are looking for their first-ever men’s championship.
Perpetual and CSB split their first two meeting with the Altas punishing the Blazers, 25-22, 25-22, 26-24, in the elimination round before the Taft-based squad evened their season head-to-head with a 25-21, 25-23, 25-14, victory in the playoff for the no. 1 seed last week.
With no team having a clear advantage over the other, Altas head coach Sammy Acaylar said that all will boil down on who wants it more.
“It’s a matter of heart lang ‘yan. Gusto mong manalo, mananalo ka talaga if you want to,” said Acaylar, who is also handling the national men’s team. “Pero kung gusto mo lang manalo in words na walang effort at walang hardwork, hindi ka mananalo.”
The Las Pinas-based squad will bank on brother Rey and Relan Taneo, skipper Manuel Doliente and Esmail Kasim.
CSB, on the other hand, has graduating player and prolific scorer John Vic De Guzman, Isaah Arda and Owen Bacani in its arsenal of hitters.
Game 2 is on Tuesday.
In juniors action, reigning titlist Perpetual Help and Emilio Aguinaldo College collide one final time at 10:00 a.m. with the winner arranging a finals match with Lyceum of the Philippines University, which swept the elims to barge into the finals outright with a thrice-to-beat advantage.
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