Playing their first match under head coach Nes Pamilar, the De La Salle University Green Spikers nipped their Taft neighbors College of Saint Benilde Blazers 25-20, 22-25, 25-23, 25-21 in the Spikers’ Turf Collegiate Conference at the Ynares Sports Arena.
UAAP Season 78 Best Scorer Raymark Woo towed the Green Spikers with 24 points off 22 attacks, a block, and an ace. Opposite hitter Mike Frey sizzled for 16 markers which includes three blocks kills while open hitter Arjay Onia tallied 13 points.
“Ang sabi ko lang sa team kailangan lahat mag-contribute. Noong first set maganda ang nilaro ng lahat tapos nawala noong second set,” Pamilar said of his team’s rough start.
After cruising through the opening set, La Salle was unable to bring their momentum into the second set, allowing Benilde to sprint to a five-point lead, 16-11. The Green Spikers sued for a comeback, trimming the deficit down to one 21-22 after a spell of Benilde errors and bad passing. The Blazers, however, mustered a finishing push pulling kills from Johnvic De Guzman and a block Ron Jordan to seal their only set win.
The third set became a tight affair after La Salle let a 16-11 lead slip and watched Benilde claim a 22-21 advantage. After a timeout, the Green Spikers turned on their blocking, stuffing Jordan running hit attempt then coaxing an attack error from Pemi Bagalay to reclaim the lead, 23-22. Blocks then sealed the set for La Salle as Onia and Cris Dumago turned back Benilde’s attacks.
La Salle wasted no time lording it over CSB in the fourth frame, leaping to a 16-10 advantage and never looking back.
“Pagkahawak ko sa team na ito, sabi ko sa kanila marami tayong kailangan baguhin para ma-achieve ‘yung gusto kong sistema. Hindi kasi pwedeng ganoon lang ang ilalaro namin,” Pamilar expressed as he is taking over a program that has missed the UAAP Final Four for the past three seasons.
De Guzman led the Blazers with a game-high 27 points while guest player Pemi Bagalay added 11.
DLSU (1-0) next faces the defending NCAA champions University of Perpetual Help System – Dalta Altas (0-0) on August 6 at the PhilSports Arena. CSB (0-1) faces the Far Eastern University Tamaraws (0-0) on August 10 also at the PhilSports Arena.
DLSU (3) – Woo 24, Frey 16, Onia 11, Elorde 8, Del Pilar 7, Asia 1, Bacon 1, Dumago 1, Dimayuga 0, Marco 0, Movido (L)
CSB (1) – De Guzman 27, Bagalay 11, Arda 9, Jordan 6, Orian 4, Deximo 3, Bacani 2, Basilan 0, Dy (0)