Louie Ramirez shone anew as University of Perpetual Help System DALTA made short work of San Sebastian College-Recoletos in NCAA Season 95 Men’s Volleyball Tournament, 25-18, 25-15, 25-21, Saturday morning at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
The recently-converted open spiker unleashed a game-high 17 points built on 14 attacks and a pair of kill blocks. His stellar offensive exploits powered the Altas to a 2-0 start for a share of early lead with Arellano, who also remained unscathed after two matches.
“As of now, na dalawang panalo kami, nakita ko ‘yung performance nila during training and during actual games,” Perpetual head coach Sammy Acaylar said.
“Tumaas ang morale, of course, that’s number one. But then, kami kasi, hindi namin iniisip na manalo kami tapos champion na kami, hindi. Ang iniisip namin, one step at a time. Kumbaga nanalo kami, kailangan maging confident pa sila at maging matalino sila paglalaro,” he added.
The Altas smelled blood in the third frame with a two-sets-to-none buffer in hand. But they could not capitalize on their momentum, leaving the door open for the Golden Stags to pick up steam.
Figuring in a 15-all stalemate, though, Kennry Malinis set the tone for Perpetual’s pull away from the service line. His steady service game did not produce immediate points, but it was enough to disrupt San Sebastian’s defense.
Ramirez then pounced on San Sebastian’s sloppy reception, pummeling one hit after the other to pump Perpetual’s cushion to as high as five, 22-17. David Honra tried to stop the Altas’ closing surge, but the troika of Ronniel Rosales, Hero Austria, and Malinis slammed the door shut for good.
Still, Acaylar acknowledges that his wards need to work on their disposition when it comes to closing out games. He warned them that complacency is fatal even for the best in the business.
“Actually, it’s good. But then, alam naman natin na there are times na nakakakuha ng dalawang set kami or ‘yung Filipino, nago-overconfident sila, masiyadong complacent,” he said.
The seasoned mentor furthered, “‘Yun ang gusto kong ma-develop sa kanila na katulad ng international competition na kapag tinalo na ang kalaban sa first and second sets, hindi na nila ibibigay, hindi na sila magre-relax, in which that’s more on psychological naman.”
Nonetheless, the Altas got the job done and wrapped up the match without a surrendered set.
All but a player contributed to Perpetual’s balanced offensive thrust. Team skipper Rosales backstopped Ramirez, putting up 10 points anchored on a pair of service aces. Malinis chimed in nine markers and six excellent digs. Austria added six points laced with six receptions, as Awie Abdulla also had six markers.
On the other hand, Dominique Ramirez topped San Sebastian with eight points. Honra and James Lana managed seven markers each, as Nathalian Bunsuan had five.
The Golden Stags, who had their defensive specialists back into their rotation after missing their services in the curtain-raiser, fell to 0-2.
Perpetual shall next face Lyceum on Tuesday, January 21. San Sebastian will try to barge into the win column when it takes on San Beda also on the same day. Both matches will be played at the same venue.