Perpetual equalizes in scary Game 2 win, forces decider

Perpetual equalizes in scary Game 2 win, forces decider
University of Perpetual Help survived a scary Game 2 match to extend the series to a decider Thursday.

University of Perpetual Help survived scary moments throughout the match before hanging tough to dismantle Arellano University, 26-24, 25-20, 23-25, 25-16, in Game 2 to tie the best-of-three 93rd NCAA men’s volleyball Finals series at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan Monday.

Ridzuan Muhali paced the Altas, who are looking to annex their 11th crown, with 15 anchored on 11 attacks, three aces and a kill block while reigning Rookie of the Year/Most Valuable Player Joeber Almodiel scored all but one of his 13 markers from spikes and added 11 digs on defense.

Roniel Rosales also scored 13 points while skipper Rey Taneo and John Patrick Ramos closed the match with 11 and 10 markers, respectively, for the Las Pinas-based squad.

It was an ugly win for the Altas, who swept the elimination round to advance in the Finals outright, with Perpetual squandering huge leads in the first and third sets. 

The Altas went ahead, 20-11,  in the opening set only to see the Chiefs go on a 10-1 roll to tied the frame at 21. Perpetual pushed to set points, 24-22, but Arellano saved to points to lock it again at 24. The Altas escaped the set with back-to-back hits capped by a Muhali down the line kill.

Perpetual could've closed the match early when it built a 21-12 lead in the third set. However, the Chiefs chipped away its deficit with a huge rally to steal the frame before the Altas woke up just in time to control the fourth frame. 

“Sometimes kasi kahit kino-control mo talaga 'yung players natin, sa psychological, andun yung too much complacency nila,” rued Perpetual Help coach Sammy Acaylar. “That is why I told them always sa training at sa mga tune-up games, 'yun talaga ang problema na kapag lamang na, nagre-relax. So somebody inside the court should control that negativity.”

“So sabi ko nga, nagalit ako ng kaunti pero wala akong magawa, ganoon sila eh. Ayusin ko na lang 'yan,” he added.      

Game 3 of the series is on Thursday.

Josepg Cabillan scored 12 points while Kevin Liberato and Christian Segovia posted 12 and 11 markers, respectively, for the Chiefs, who handed the Altas their first loss of the season, 12-25, 25-21, 19-25, 26-24, 15-9, in Game 1 on Friday.

Meanwhile, defending champion Perpetual Help inched a step closer to bagging its fourth straight juniors division title after defeating Letran, 25-16, 25-15, 20-25, 25-20, in the series opener.

Transferee Noel Kampton, who came from National University, uncorked 22 points while Jody Severo finished with 11 for the Junior Altas.  

John Paolo Lorenzo was the only Squire to score in double figures with 12.



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