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Knights ambush Lions, Stags gore Bombers in 2015’s final matches

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Heading into the holiday break, the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights caught a contender napping and the San Sebastian College – Recoletos Stags nabbed an easy win in the NCAA Men’s Volleyball Tournament earlier today at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

After struggling for much of the season, the CSJL Knights found their spark and handed their sworn rivals, the San Beda College Red Lions, a costly loss, 25-19, 25-23, 23-25, 26-24.

The Knights took advantage of the dazed Lions in the first set, sprinting to a quick win. CSJL nearly ran away with the following frame as well, but San Beda got clutch block kills to erase a 23-20 lead and force 23-all tie. The Lions, however, couged a service error setting up CSJL’s Bobby Gatdula for an attack that put CSJL up two sets to nil.

San Beda seemed to regain form in a tight third set win, but they failed to limit their errors down the stretch to prevent an upset. In a tight fourth set that went into a deuce, two of Letran’s final three points came from San Beda errors.The Mendiola-based spikers finished the match with a horrendous 39-error tally compared to CSJL’s 26.

Bobby Gatdula and team captain Harold Reyes towed the Knights with 14 points apiece, while Jov Hernandez contributed 13.

San Beda dropped to 4-3, tieing for the final postseason spot with the Arellano Chiefs. CSJL won just their second match in six outings.

With their head coach, Roger Gorayeb, serving a one-game suspension, the SSC-R Stags breezed past the struggling Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers 25-23, 25-15, 25-22.

Leaning on the league’s fifth best scorer, Richard Tolentino, Baste blasted the league-worst JRU floor defense to gain their second win of the season. The taller Stags lineup garnered nine block kills to JRU’s three while also firing off 39 spikes to the Heavy Bombers 30.

Tolentino sizzled for a match-high 22 points off 17 attacks, four blocks kills, and and an ace. Francis Ronato provided offensive support, providing eight markers.

The winless Bombers got a team-high 10 points from Patrick Sulivas while Roden Pulongbarit managed nine markers.

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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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