The San Sebastian College-Recollectos Golden Stags snatched their first victory of the season, grinding out a five-set match against the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, 16-25, 25-19, 25-17, 16-25, 15-13, Friday morning at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Stags’ team captain and top scorer Jamil Ebrahim was not fielded in the game due to an injured thumb.
“Kahapon na-ipractice pa niya, pero pinatigil ko. Pag gising niya kaninang umaga, namamaga,” Stags head coach Clint Malazo shared.
Despite missing their skipper, spikers Francis Ronato and Christian Calonia stepped up with 10 points each. However, it was the all-around game of Arvy Ongque that spelled the difference.
After terribly losing the first set, San Sebastian tightened up their defense in the second and third frames, particularly containing the middle attackers of Letran.
“Siguro mas nakinig lang sila. Kasi minsan nakakalimutan ng players yung instructions na dapat gawin, so constant reminder,” Malazo said.
The Knights, however, carried their momentum in the fourth set to lead at 8-6 after a block from captain Harold Reyes.
Nonetheless, the Stags once more leaned on their defense, forcing errors from their opponents. With a miscommunication in the offensive set up, the Knights conceded the tight decider and the match to San Sebastian.
Letran peppered the Stags with 56 attacks, 22 of which came from outside hitter Bobby Gatdula. The Knights, however, coughed up a massive 48 errors.
Onque had 13 points to lead the winners, 10 coming from attacks. Francis Ronato registered three of the Stags’ seven blocks.
The Golden Stags face the red-hot San Beda College Red Spikers on Thursday, December 1 at 9:30 am. On the other hand, the Knights look to arrest this two-game slide when they face Arellano Chiefs later that day at 2:00pm.
SSC-R (3) – Ongque A. 13, Ronato 10, Calonia 10, Eugenio 9, Lana 3, Sanchez 2, Yanga 1, Lazaro 1, Ongque AC. 0, Toledo L.
CSJL (2) – Gatdula 22, Reyes 15, Orsini 9, Sarmiento 7, Alilio 6, Almoguerra 5, Dichioso 3, Ladeon 1, Cistina 1, Dizon 0, Timbreza L, Centeno L.