NCAA Season 94 volleyball: Blazers head back to the Finals

Mark Escarlote on Jan 29, 2019 04:16 PM
NCAA Season 94 volleyball: Blazers head back to the Finals
College of St. Benilde punched a return ticket to the Finals after taking down Emilio Aguinaldo College in the last phase of the NCAA Season 94 men's volleyball stepladder semifinals.

College of St. Benilde marched back into the Finals after submitting Emilio Aguinaldo College, 25-18, 25-23, 25-20, Tuesday in the closing phase of the NCAA Season 94 men’s volleyball stepladder semifinals at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

The no. 2 seed Blazers forged a rematch of the championship series two years ago against unbeaten reigning titlist University of Perpetual Help, which advanced straight into the best-of-three Finals after sweeping the elimination round.

Game 1 of the championship is on Friday.  

CSB, which won it all in Season 92 behind the leadership of national team captain John Vic De Guzman, relied on its experience to control most of the match to complete the sweep against a young but very feisty Generals. 

“Natyaga ng mga players ko on the last part and pagdating doon sa end game sabi ko, ‘mas mananaig pa rin ang beterano kasi siyempre sanay sila sa ganoong sitwasyon.’ ‘Yun lang siguro ang ikinalamang din namin bukod sa mas lamang kami doon sa ibang area siguro yung pagiging veteran ng team,” said CSB coach Arnold Laniog, who steered the Blazers to its breakthrough title two seasons ago.

Ruvince Abrot scored 12 points to lead CSB while Joshua De Sequera and skipper Francis Basilan finished with nine points each.

After easily taking the opening set, the Blazers needed to come back from two points down in the second frame.

EAC took a 22-20 lead only to see it evaporate after a Basilan hit followed by back-to-back attacks by Abrot. The Generals tied it at 23 but a Ralph Pitogo error followed by a De Sequera quick attack gave the frame to CSB.  

It was all Blazers in the third set.

Joshua Mina and Joshua Ramilo posted 13 and 10 points, respectively, for EAC, which defeated Arellano University in the first phase of the stepladder.

In the juniors division, Letran set up a championship date with reigning four-time champion Perpetual after knocking out no. 2 seed Lyceum of the Philippines University, 30-28, 25-21, 25-20.

Christian Dela Cruz had a 21-point explosion with 19 coming off attacks while Mark Denver Omega and Cedric Lim scored 13 and 11 markers, respectively, for the Squires.

Letran, which defeated EAC in the first phase of the semis, and Perpetual will face of in Game 1 of the best-of-three title series on Friday.




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