Blazers make history, win first-ever men's volleyball title
Mark Escarlote on Feb 07, 2017 04:33 PM
Johnvic De Guzman fulfilled his promise to bring College of St. Benilde its first-ever crown in his last playing year.
Finally, College of St. Benilde captured an NCAA men's volleyball crown.
Season Most Valuable Player Johnvic De Guzman made true to his promise to leave a winning legacy for CSB, powering the Blazers to a dramatic 25-12, 21-25, 17-25, 25-14, 18-16, win to claim their first-ever title in the 92nd NCAA men’s volleyball best-of-three Finals series sweep over the dethroned Perpetual Help Altas at The Arena in San Juan Tuesday.
De Guzman blasted 26 attacks in his farewell 28-point performance for the Taft-based squad. But it was his leadership and valor in battle especially when they were down 11-13 in the fifth that made the biggest difference.
"Walang imposible. Apply natin lahat (ng natutunan natin). Sanay tayo sa ganito, nag-sakripisyo tayo kaya 'di matatapos ang araw na 'di natin nakukuha ito (title)," said De Guzman, who tirelessly kept his team's spirit up.
Perpetual got the first match point but De Guzman tied it at 14. The set was again tied at 16 with a kill by De Guzman that sparked the closing run capped by an off the block kill by eventual Finals MVP Isaah Arda as the whole Blazers side ran towards center court to celebrate their victory.
Owen Bacani scored 13 points while Francis Basilan and Arda had 10 and seven points, respectively, for the Blazers, which closed their season with 12 straight victories since dropping a straight sets match against the Altas to open the tournament.
CSB started hot to take the first set but miscues and sudden dryspell in the second and third put the Blazers trailing in the match, 1-2.
But De Guzman was unstoppable when he took over in the fourth set.
The fifth year hitter led the Blazers' barrage of attacks in the fourth set to build a huge 13-point gap, 19-6, off an off the block hit by De Guzman that extinguished the fight from Altas.
CSB, which finished runner up to Emilio Aguinaldo College two years ago, trailed in the fifth set 12-7 before making a huge run to tie the frame at 13.
The Blazers took the series opener last Friday in straight sets, 25-17, 26-24, 25-17.
Rey Taneo Jr. finished with 19 points while Esmail Kasim had 10 for the Las Pinas-based squad.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles