Vince Abrot and James Paul Laguit carried College of St. Benilde’s cudgels, picking apart Lyceum of the Philippines, 25-21, 25-23, 25-18, to enter the winner’s circle of the NCAA Season 95 Men’s Volleyball Tournament, Friday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Abrot poured in 14 points, with all but one coming from attacks; meanwhile, Laguit pummeled 11 spikes and a block en route to 12 markers for the Blazers. The hard-hitting duo steered the straight-set conquest of the Pirates for an emphatic bounce-back win following a sour opener to defending champion Perpetual a week ago.
“Siyempre, medyo mabigat ‘yung naging talo, tapos hindi rin naging maganda ‘yung Christmas break namin at training namin dahil sa mga injury. Wala kaming pinapanalo na tune-up,” St. Benilde head coach Arnold Laniog said, as his side continues to press on sans team captain and battle-tested setter Kevin Magsino, as well as libero Aijan Pail Dy, due to injuries.
He then continued, “At least ngayon, nanalo na. So hopefully, eto na ‘yung start para maibalik ‘yung normal na nilalaro namin.”
In lieu of the former league Best Setter, Jericho Paolo Fajardo churned out the offense for St. Benilde. He ably distributed the wealth with 18 excellent sets, powering the Blazers explosive offensive thrust that outgunned the Pirates, 47-30.
Owen Bacani and Emile Almonte also played instrumental roles for St. Benilde, supplementing eight markers apiece, as John Carlo Tero chimed in seven. Bacani also had nine excellent digs and seven excellent receptions. Meanwhile, Bryan Dumaran provided a 12-dig, 10-reception outing to anchor on defense.
On the other hand, Lyceum continues to search for a breakthrough in the age-old league.
Harvie Dizon was the only Pirate in double-digit with 10 points. Andrei Tibayan and Josue Velasco III managed eight and seven markers, respectively.
St. Benilde tries to build from this win and string more momentum when it faces Colegio San Juan de Letran on Monday, January 20. Meanwhile, Lyceum seeks to chalk a win when it takes on Perpetual on Tuesday, January 21. Both matches will be played at the same venue.