Arellano University tightened its defensive crews and thwarted Lyceum of the Philippines University in straight sets, 25-22, 25-14, 25-22, to open its NCAA Season 95 Men’s Volleyball campaign, Friday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Behind Jethro Cabillan and Jesrael Liberato, the Chiefs mounted a wall that made the difference late in the match.
“Maganda ‘yung naging performance nila. Ang sabi ko lang naman sa players ay ‘yung everyday practice namin ay gawin namin sa game. So naging maganda naman, especially ‘yung blocking namin naging okay,” said Arellano head coach Sherwin Meneses.
Sitting at match point, 24-20, in the third frame, Arellano saw its cushion deflate as the Pirates inched within two. Fortunately, though, the Chiefs found their finishing kick through their blocking, denying Lyceum at the net to seal the deal.
Liberato led Arellano in scoring, pouring in a game-high 15 points built on 10 attacks, three blocks, and two aces. Cabillan pumped 10 markers anchored on five denials for the Chiefs, who out-blocked the opposition, 10-6.
Christian Segovia also had 10 markers, while Christian Dela Paz contributed eight. Kim Vincent Tan flaunted his all-around wares with eight points, six excellent digs, and 13 excellent receptions.
“‘Yung team namin… Medyo senior ‘yung team namin, kaya mataas ‘yung goal namin na makabalik sa finals for this season. So siyempre pagtatrabahuhan namin at maka-finals, makapag-champion ngayon,” added Meneses.
On the other hand, Juvic Colonia was the lone double-digit scorer for Lyceum with 12. Josie Velasco managed nine markers.
Arellano looks to make it two in a row when it faces Emilio Aguinaldo College on Monday. Meanwhile, Lyceum seeks to chalk a win against San Beda on Tuesday. Both matches will be played at the same venue.