With two of their rotation players down with the flu, Wendel Miguel and the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons were able to find their second wind just in time to outlast the College of Saint Benilde Blazers in five sets, 25-18, 21-25, 25-23, 21-25, 16-14, Monday morning at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
It was a grueling affair, as the match lasted for an hour and 58 minutes. The Fighting Maroons were additionally handicapped by the absence of middle blockers Gian San Pascual and John Castillo, while Mac Millete was not fielded in because of the new system coach Rod Palmero was testing for the game.
“Yung play namin kanina, super fast play talaga kaya hindi muna ginamit si Mac,” shared super senior Miguel.
Stepping up for Millete was Nicolo Consuelo, who tallied 19 points on 15 attacks, three blocks, and two aces. Skipper Jerry San Pedero added 16 markers.
But when the Fighting Maroons were down against the defending NCAA champions, the team went to Miguel.
“Parang ang nangyari nun, bumaliktad yung momentum. Sobrang ganda ng start ng Benilde. Sinabi na lang sa amin ni coach na simplehan lang namin,” said Miguel, who tallied 22 points on 20 spikes, an ace, and a block.
UP were down by as much as 5-9 during the deciding set, but Miguel rallied UP back to tie things up at 11-all. A kill and an ace by Isaah Arda tried to stop the Fighting Maroon rally, but three straight points from Miguel sent UP to match point. However, Arda was able to answer right back to force a deuce.
But UP were not to be denied, as an off-the-block kill by Consuelo was followed up by a smooth drop by San Pedro to secure the bounce-back win.
“Inenjoy lang namin yung laro. Puro bata yung team namin ngayon pero alam ko kaya pa nilang higitan yung laro nila. Nakikita ko na dedicated sila sa laro nila,” added Miguel.
Fourth-year setter Charles Acuna glued things together for UP with 41 excellent sets and 10 digs.
Arda paced Benilde with 22 points while Owen Bacani added 14 markers.
UP will have a one week break before facing the San Beda Red Lions on Monday, September 11, at 8:00am. Saint Benilde, at 0-2, will have a lot of time to regroup as they will return to the court on Wednesday, September 13, against the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles.
UP (3) – Miguel 22, Consuelo 19, San Pedro 16, Gohoc 10, Ijiran 6, Acuna 0, Madrigalejos (L), Nasol (L).
CSB (2) – Arda 22, Bacani 14, Basilan 12, Orian 12, Bautista 7, Abrot 5, Magsino 1, Saldavia 1, San Miguel 0, De Sequera 0, Garcia (L), Dy (L).
Saint Benilde regains winning form, sweeps San Sebastian
Following a shocking defeat to San Beda College, the defending champions College of Saint Benilde Blazers rolled back into the NCAA Season 93 win column with a quick triumph over the San Sebastian College-Recoletos Stags, 25-20, 25-19, 25-21, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The Blazers outclassed the Stags in every scoring category, recording twice as many spikes (40-20), and blocks (10-5).
Saint Benilde head coach Arnold Laniog wanted to see high-level play from his team after, what he deemed, a lackadaisical effort in their last outing.
“Marami kaming naging struggles last game na alam namin na kaya naman sana namin iwasan. Sabi ko sa kanila na one game at a time tayo, kailangan bawat game kami nagi-improve,” said Laniog
“Kung may maganda mang naidulot ‘yung talo, nakita namin doon ‘yung weakness namin. Nasa sa amin na talaga kung paano kami magre-respond. Maganda naman ‘yung pinakita nila kanina,” the champion tactician added.
Team captain Isaah Arda topped the Blazers with 14 points while his fellow winger Owen Bacani added 12 markers off 10 attacks, one block, and one ace.
The Blazers (3-1) take on Emilio Aguinaldo College (2-2) on Monday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Jahir Ebrahim continued to tow the Stags’ offense, notching 12 points but was again the only Stag in double-digits.
The Golden Stags (1-3) try to snap their losing streak on Tuesday when they face Mapua University (2-2).
CSB (3) – Arda 14, Bacani 12, Orian 8, Basilan 7, Magsino 4, Rojas 3, De Sequena 2, Martinez 2, Garcia 0, Saldavia 0, Dy (L)
SSC-R (0) – Ebrahim 12, Ronato 6, Eugenio 5, Lana 5, Eusebio 2, Lazaro 2, Onque 0, Enano (L), Toledo (L)
Nikka Dalisay helps Lady Stags break slump at Lady Blazers’ expense
The eight-woman San Sebastian College-Recoletos Lady Stags finally broke out of their slump, receiving a boost from Nikka Dalisay to slip past the College of Saint Benilde Lady Blazers, 23-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-23, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The veteran winger, Dalisay compiled a season-high 19 points to lead the Stags in breaking a two-game losing streak.
According to Lady Stags head coach Roger Gorayeb, beating a fellow Final Four aspirant in College of Saint Benilde could be the boost his under-manned team needs to rescue their season.
“‘Yung mga huling laban namin may halong malas, may halong masyadong mataas na kumpiyansa namin kaya nahirapan talaga kami,” lamented Gorayeb.
“Ngayon kamuntikan nanaman kaming madisgrasya pero nahanapan naman ng paraan ng mga bata. Medyo nabawasan na ‘yung mga error namin kumpara sa mga nakaraan na laro. Sana magtuloy-tuloy lang kami,” added Gorayeb as his squad surrendered just 26 errors, much less than the 41.5 his team averaged in their last two matches.
In contrast, the Lady Blazers coughed up 43 errors, negating their decisive height and power advantage.
Lady Stags team captain Joyce Sta. Rita fought through a right ankle sprain and scored 12 points while Daurene Santos added 11.
The Lady Stags (2-2) take on the winless Mapua University (0-4) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Middle blocker Ranya Musa led the Lady Blazers with 15 points, all off attacks. Diane Ventura chipped in 14 markers.
The Lady Blazers (2-2) face the struggling Emilio Aguinaldo College (0-4) on Monday.
SSC-R (3) – Dalisay 19, Sta. Rita 12, Santos 11, Encarnacion 6, Amponin 5, Guillema 0, Eroa (L)
CSB (1) – Musa 15, Ventura 14, Austero 13, Abriam 9, Daguil 7, Cardiente 3, Enginco 1, Pablo 1, Cui 0, Dolorito 0, Lim (L), Torres (L)
Jake Vicen performs under pressure as Blazers end eight-year title drought
For the second straight match, the championship showdown between the College of Saint Benilde Blazers and the Arellano University Chiefs reached a showdown from the penalty spot. And once more, goalkeeper Jake Vicen came up big.
The third-year custodian denied one of Arellano’s prolific scorers, Roberto Corsame, in the shootout and sealed the title after eight long years, 3-2, penalties, Wednesday evening at the historic Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The Blazers made their intentions clear from the get-go, as they repeatedly pierced through the defense of the Chiefs.
Nonetheless, in the 38th minute, the white-shirts clinched the goal they deserved. The Blazers pushed forward, and almost got a call in their favor. The referees, however, played advantage, and fortunately Benilde held on to the play.
Miguel Artillera found himself unmarked on the right flank and easily blasted the ball past opposing keeper Jericho Desalisa.
The Marlon Maro-mentored side continued to play aggressively in the following period, and almost plucked a second goal. This time, however, the Chiefs’ backline — led by eventual Best Defender Patrick Bernarte — held on.
Such a stand was rewarded by their attacking force minutes later, and, as expected, the equalizer came from the counterattack.
Corsame received a pass from the middle and defeated two defenders, and seeing Vicen off his line, sent the ball into the onion bag in the 49th minute.
Both sides tried to break the deadlock, but fatigue slowly crept up in the dying minutes of the second period and the whole of extra time, setting up another thrilling finish in the shootout.
Much like in Game 2, the two keepers came up big, as Desalisa and Vicen denied their second kickers a clear shot. Arellano went on to miss another shot, and it was then up to the Blazers to seal the deal.
Dean Ebarle stepped up and calmly slotted the ball into the goal for the lead at 3-2. Afterwards, Corsame faced Vicen, but this time, the Cebuano keeper would not be denied. The latter went to his strong side, and, fortunately, guessed right for the huge save, as pandemonium erupted from the Benilde crowd and squad.
The Finals series hero and season Best Goalkeeper Vicen was pleased that the new champions had carved out the historic win despite early adversity. “Big loss ‘yun, si Val [Calvo], kasi may magagawa talaga siya kung nakalaro namin,” he said of losing their former captain.
Nonetheless, the squad stayed focused on getting it done this year.
“Binuhos lang namin every minute sa training. Luckily, hard work paid off,” declared Vicen.
Red-hot San Beda edges Saint Benilde in four-set thriller
The San Beda College Lady Red Spikers carved another character-building win as they outclassed fellow contenders College of Saint Benilde Lady Blazers, 25-22, 24-26, 27-25, 25-19, Tuesday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Cesca Racraquin put up a show of two-way excellence as she starred with 17 points, 15 digs, and nine excellent receptions.
Nonetheless, it was a huge test of reception efficiency throughout the match for both teams, as San Beda registered only 21 percent, while Benilde were even worse at 16 percent.
However, the white-shirts leaned on their attacks, outscoring their opponents at 50-44, with Racraquin finishing with 17 of this skill.
Despite the lapses, head coach Nemesio Gavino Jr. was pleased of their good start. “Every game importante sa ‘min. Crucial ‘to eh, single round robin so kailangan every game mapanalo namin,” he said.
Middle hitters Ranya Musa and Rachel Austero registered 13 markers apiece, but was not enough to stop their first defeat.
The Lady Red Spikers (3-0) will gun for their fourth straight as they face the Mapua University (0-3) on Friday. The 2-1 Blazers will take on the winless Emilio Aguinaldo College (0-3) on Monday.
SBC 3 – Racraquin C 17, Espiritu 14, Viray N 13, Viray J 8, Paras 6, Cuevas 5, Manuel 3, Buno L, Racraquin D L.
CSB 1 – Austero 13, Musa 13, Ventura 11, Abriam 11, Cardiente 6, Pablo 5, Enginco 1, Cui 1, Dolorito 0, Daguil 0, Torres L, Lim L.
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