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Chiefs regain form, Pirates bag second straight victory

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Two Final Four aspirants got important wins yesterday at the NCAA Men’s Volleyball Tournament elimination round at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

The Arellano University Chiefs blew away the San Sebastian College – Recoletos Stags in straight sets, 25-19, 25-16, 25-19 in the first match of the day.

Coming off a disheartening five-set loss to the San Beda College Red Lions last Thursday, the Chiefs orchestrated a masterful drubbing the Stags to keep pace with the rest of the pack in a tight Final Four race. Relying on their solid passing and serving, AU got the jump on SSC in every scoring skill.

Sherwin Meneses’ squad received a jolt from high-flying Lawrence Del Espirito who tallied 17 points from 15 attacks, a block, and an ace, while Kenneth Aliyacyac contributed 12 points, all off spikes. Richard Tolentino was the only Stag who found offensive success, notching 13 points.

In the day’s second match, the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates rolled to their second win of the season, bucking the struggling Colegio San Juan de Letran Knights in four sets, 25-18, 32-34, 25-15, 25-18.

Using their impeccable ball control, LPU easily found ways to score on the floundering Letran defense. Aside from a hotly-contested second set, Lyceum maintained control of the match through out. The Pirates pulled off a balanced scoring sheet with five players reaching double-digit scoring outputs. Jhonel Badua and Joeward Presnede each recorded 16 points, Aram Abrencilo and Ludlo Dulce had 12 makers apiece, while Joshua Dansai pitched in 10 points.

Letran, on the other hand, relied on wunderkind Bobby Gatdula, who amassed a game-high 22 markers. Harold Reyes paced the CSJL offense with 12 points.

Having started the tournament with three straight losses, Lyceum have won their last two matches for a 2-3 record – just a few games out of a Final Four spot at sixth place. Arellano maintained their hold on fifth place with a 3-2 slate. Both Letran and San Sebastian are jammed in seventh place, along with two other squads who hold identical 1-4 records.

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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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