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CSB

Lady Red Spikers conquer Lady Blazers

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In a rematch of the first round of thr NCAA Season 92 stepladder Final Four, the San Beda College Lady Red Spikers flipped the script on the Season 92 champions College of Saint Benilde Lady Blazers and came away with a four-set win, 25-21, 25-20, 17-25, 25-22, in Group B of the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

With Benilde having booted them from the Final Four in the NCAA, San Beda came in with a lot of motivation, according to their head coach Nemesio Gavino.

“Top 3 team ‘yan sa NCAA so alam namin kung gaanong kaimportante ‘yung laro na ‘to sa amin para lang sa preparation namin for NCAA,” Gavino mused.

The Lady Red Spikers built their win on consistent all-around offense, which the Lady Blazers lacked. In the NCAA, San Beda had habitually given up more errors than Benilde in their matches. In the PVL, the Lady Red Spikers limited their miscues to 31 compared to CSB’s 37.

San Beda, however, gave up a devastating loss in the third set and missed out on a golden opportunity for a straight-set win.

“Sakit na talaga ‘yan ng San Beda ever since,” said Gavino. “Kahit noong laban namin sa TIP. Siguro sa disiplina namin makukuha ‘yun. The more na mag-mature kami as a team, malilimita namin ‘yung mga ganitong pangyayare.”

NCAA Season 93 Rookie of the Year Cesca Racraquin provided 15 points for San Beda’s cause. One of the Viray twins, Nieza added 12 markers.

The Lady Red Spikers claimed their second win in three games.

Middle hitter Ranya Musa towed CSB with 22 points. National University transferee Marites Pablo managed 12 markers for the Lady Blazers, who have yet to win a match.

The Scores

SBC (3) – Racraquin 15, Viray N. 12, Espiritu 8, Paras 8, Viray J. 7, Cuevas 3, Amador 1, Laguna 1, Baluarte 0, Manuel 0, Tannagan 0, Buno (L)

CSB (1) – Musa 22, Pablo 12, Daguil 7, Engico 5, Umali 4, Abriam 2, Austero 2, Ventura 2, Cardiente 0, Cui 0, Dolorito 0, Lim (L), Torres (L)

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

AU

Jake Vicen performs under pressure as Blazers end eight-year title drought

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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.

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CSB

Red-hot San Beda edges Saint Benilde in four-set thriller

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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.

The Scores:

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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AU

Jake Vicen saves Saint Benilde’s season, forces winner-take-all

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For most of the match, College of Saint Benilde Blazers’ goalkeeper Jake Vicen was under pressure. However, that just set up his heroics in the end.

The third-year custodian came up big with two huge denials in the shootout, as the Blazers won 4-2 after the match ended at 3-3 after 120 minutes against the Arellano University Chiefs, Friday evening at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Applying the same game plan and using their speed advantage, the Chiefs pummeled the Blazers’ defense, plucking a chance at the set piece. The free kick went for naught, but the succeeding sequence turned into the go-ahead goal.

In the seventh minute, the ball bounced in front of Arellano captain Cymun Sanquilos, who blasted the ball into the top corner past the outstretched arms of Jake Vicen.

The rest of the first period was a defensive clinic from the Season 91 champions, as Saint Benilde were left scouring for opportunities to level the match. The green-shirts simply waited for that moment, as their possession improved and their attacking aggressiveness increased in the following period.

At the hour mark, Dean Ebarle received a low cross inside the penalty area, and finding himself unmarked, slotted the ball into the bag for the equalizer.

Both teams tried to break the deadlock once more, only neither team could not barge through the opposing defense in the remaining minutes of the second half and the whole of extra time.

Thus, the match has to be decided on kicks from the penalty spot.

Vicen and Jericho Desalisa denied the second kickers setting up a dramatic finish, to which the former turned his focus, “Sabi ko sa coaches, ‘Kukunin ko ‘to. Yung shoot out di naturalist hangga’t ‘di pumipito yung ref.”

Patrick Bernarte missed miserably wide as Vicen was on point, setting up long-time teammate Moiselle Alforque for the winning spot kick.

Head coach Marlon Maro was pleased on how the Blazers had responded in this game. As for the sudden-death match, he commented, “May the best team win.”

That third and deciding match is scheduled on Wednesday also at 6:00pm.

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AU

Arellano draws first blood in extra-time classic against Benilde

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Big time players come up with big time plays in the biggest stage

NCAA Season 91 Most Valuable Player Jumbel Guinabang has scored twice. But no goal was as huge as his second in extra time, propelling the Arellano University Chiefs to take Game 1 of the NCAA Seaosn 93 Seniors Football Finals from the College of Saint Benilde Blazers, 3-2, Friday evening at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Right from the get-go, the action was intense, as both teams plucked two goals. Guinabang ​received a good long delivery and ​swiftly took the opening goal just three minutes from kick off. However, the lead did not last long, as Daniel Liozo equalized just seconds after for Saint Benilde.

In the 26th minute, the Chiefs once more intercepted a Benildean pass in the midfield before Charles Gamutan made a speedy run to the opponent’s goal for the second go-ahead shot past Jake Vicen.

​Saint Benilde skipper Renz Tulayba might have taken four minutes to put the match back on level terms, but it was a similarly well-executed counterattack that knotted the score at two apiece.

Despite the score line, Arellano head coach Ravelo Saluria was pleased with his boys performance especially in this period expressing, “Happy ako. Sinunod nung mga bata yung game plan lalo na nung first half.”

Gambling on positional changes in the second half, the Season 91 kings almost paid for it. The Blazers pounced on opportunities to take the upper hand in the following period, with returning Dean Ebarle and semis hero Wilmer Lopes knocking on the blue-shirts’ door. However, the forwards were not able to convert these chances, as Arellano keeper Jericho Desalisa kept himself busy.

The situation continued well into the extra time before Saint Benilde almost ran away with the match winner. Carmelo Genco fired from the top of the penalty box, but Desalisa did well enough to parry the shot for a corner kick. The Blazers froze after that missed opportunity on the set piece, as an errant pass was once more picked up by the Chiefs

Defender Patrick Bernarte found himself with the ball and sped to Vicen’s goal. The wing back found Guinabang up front and the former MVP wasted no time to slot the ball into the goal for the clincher with just three minutes left in the extension.

Nagtataka ko kung bakit maraming nag-cramps,” Saluria expressed. Nonetheless, it was the determination of the former champs that prevailed to snag the victory. “Puso lang talaga nung mga bata.”

Arellano (1-0) will shoot for their second title in three years when they clash with Benilde (0-1) again on Monday, January 15, at 6pm.

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