Blazers rip Altas, move one step closer to first-ever title

Mark Escarlote on Feb 03, 2017 04:23 PM
Blazers rip Altas, move one step closer to first-ever title
John Vic De Guzman bullied his way to 19 points to lead College of St. Benilde past reigning champion Perpetual Help in Game 1 of the best-of-three 92nd NCAA men's volleyball Finals.

John Vic De Guzman unleashed a monster game to tow College of St. Benilde to just a win away from its first-ever title Friday in an emphatic 25-17, 26-24, 25-17, win over the defending champion Perpetual Help Altas in Game One of the best-of-three Finals series of the 92nd NCAA men’s volleyball competition at The Arena in San Juan.

The graduating hitter spearheaded the decisive second set comeback from a dangerous hole that fueled the Blazers to take control of the match and eventually dominate the Altas for CSB’s 11th straight victory since bowing to Perpetual in their season opener.

De Guzman dropped 19 points with 16 coming off kills, a kill block and a pair service aces he unleashed in the crucial stretch of the second set.

“Physically handing-handa kami and ‘yung mental toughness namin at teamwork ang nagdala talaga sa laro,” said De Guzman.

Isaah Arda finished with 13 points while Francis Basilan and Owen Bacani combined for 17 points for the Taft-based squad. 

Game 2 is on Tuesday.

Perpetual threatened to even the match after surrendering the opening set, leading 24-22 in the second frame before De Guzman took over.

CSB saved a point in the next play followed by an ace by De Guzman to tie the set, 24-all. The Altas committed an error to give the lead to the Blazers before De Guzman landed an ace to steal the set.

Skipper Manuel Doliente was the lone bright spot for the Las Pinas-based squad, scoring 10 points while Esmail Kasim and Rey Taneo Jr. were limited to only nine and seven points, respectively.

Meanwhile, three-peat seeking Perpetual Help trounced Emilio Aguinaldo College, 25-20, 23-25, 25-20, 25-16, to arrange a title showdown with he thrice-to-beat Lyceum of the Philippines University.

Ivan Encila moved his way to a game-high 19 hits while Marvien Castillo, Paul Solamin and Ryuji Condrad Etorma had 12, 10 and nine points, respectively, to push the Junior Altas to another stint in the championship round.

But standing on their way are the Junior Pirates, who swept their way to the Finals with a huge advantage.

 

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