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Blazers rip Cardinals, Altas end Pirates’ streak

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The College of Saint Benilde Blazers bounced back from their first loss of the season and the University of Perpetual Help System – Dalta Altas remained unbeaten in the NCAA Men’s Volleyball Tournament held earlier today at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

Even without one of their key hitters, Isaiah Arda, the CSB Blazers managed to sweep the floundering Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals, 25-17, 25-19, 25-23.

Benilde easily romped the Cardinals in the first two sets, only facing adversity in the third set. Mapua took a 10-4 lead off rejuvenated attacking but the Blazers slowly worked their way back with short scoring spurts. The Taft-based sqaud eventually tied the match at 20 and took a 23-21 lead following a Mapua timeout. John Vic De Guzman and Jethro Orian scored the final points of the match, pulling their team to another straight-set triumph.

While Mapua performed valiantly, Benilde pulled away with a 39-30 spikes advantage and a 16-25 errors deficit.

Benilde team captain and National Team standout, De Guzman led all scorers with 15 points off 14 kills and a block while Racky Etrone pitched in 13 markers.

Mapua team captain, Philip Bagalay towed the Cardinals with 12 points off eight attacks, three blocks, and an ace while Sam Almalel and Anjo Pertierra each contributed seven markers.

The UPHSD Altas then maintained their hold on the top of the standings, cooling off the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates in a tight five-set affair 25-17, 23-25, 19-25, 25-18, 15-9.

The squad from Las Piñas imposed their offensive dominance in the first set but tailed off in the next two. The Altas wound up surrendering key errors towards the end of the second set and struggled to gain momentum in the fourth as Lyceum worked in their combination plays beautifully.

The Sammy Acaylar-coached squad, however, made the necessary adjustments down the stretch, loading up their serves and limiting Lyceum’s opportunities at orchestrating a set play. UPHSD puntuated the match with two resounding set wins.

Rey Taneo anchored the Altas with 17 points which includes 12 attacks, four blocks, and an ace while Philip Abcede and Allan Salañan each had 14 points to round out Perpetual’s balanced assault.

Joeward Presnede continued his terrific scoring run, recording a game-high 18 points, all of attacks, for the Intramuros-based squad. Aram Abrencillo contributed 10 points while Joshua Bansao and Jhonel Badua combined for 17 points.

The Altas are still undefeated in six matches while the Pirates have their winning streak stopped at three and settle for sixth place with a 3-4 record heading into the holiday break.

CSB ends 2015 with a 5-1 slate, good for third place wile Mapua slumps to a 1-6 record.

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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.

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