After a devastating loss to the UP Maroons, the College of Saint Benilde Blazers rallied back and kept the Arellano University Chiefs winless, 25-17, 20-25, 25-18, 25-18 in the Spikers’ Turf Collegiate Conference presented by PLDT Home Ultera at the FilOil Flying V Arena.
CSB team captain, John Vic De Guzman, was nearly unstoppable throughout the match. The National Team standout dished out 20 points off 15 kills, three blocks and two aces. CSB’s middle blockers also put in work in this match, a stark contrast from their loss to UP. CSB landed 19 block kills, nine coming from their middle blockers, Francis Basilan and Ron Jordan.
AU’s ball control was off for much of the match. After losing the first set convincingly, The Chiefs managed only decent floor defense in the second set. AU fought back after being down by five for most of the set and took the lead, 16-15. From there, AU caught a short spurt of CSB errors and took a decisive four point lead, 23-19.
The Chiefs were unable to sustain their performance as the CSB defense adjusted to account for the open attacks that killed them in the previous set. CSB quickly built five point leads before the first technical timeouts of the last two sets. De Guzman scored 12 points in those last two sets as CSB cruised to 2-1 record and a berth to the next elimination round.
Aftr the match, CSB head coach Arnold Laniog expressed that his team was not only working on his players skills but he also needs his boys to perform better in class. “Most of the things na ineensayo namin is for conditioning. Also, gusto ko magfocus ‘yung mga bata sa studies nila kasi ‘yun naman talaga ‘yung magdedetermine ng eligibility nila to play. So far may ilang players ako na nagiistruggle in class kaya gusto kong iprioritize din nila ‘yung pag-aaral. I’ve been trying to use more of my young players and the players na gagamitin ko sa ibang role this coming NCAA season. May mga players kasi ako na hindi na eligible for the NCAA.”
AU has lost three straight to CSB dating back to NCAA Season 90. The Chiefs look to end their three-game skid on August 5, Wednesday against defending UAAP champs, Ateneo. CSB has their sister school, DLSU Green Spikers, next on August 3, Monday.
CSB (3) – De Guzman 20, Etrone 12, Jordan 10, Basilan 9, Arda 6, Coming 6, Relata 1, Ugalde 1, Dexinmo 0, Chua (L)
AU (1) – Del Esipiritu 14, Latip 9, Segovia 8, Lozada 8, Sarino 5, Soriano 2, Santo 2, Liberato 2, Aliyacyac 1, Dela Cruz (L)