Ralph Cabalsa carried San Beda University in the fourth set to eliminate Emilio Aguinaldo College in four sets, 25-22, 25-27, 25-16, 26-24, in the NCAA Season 98 Men’s Seniors Volleyball Semifinals Stepladder 1, Sunday at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
Cabalsa led the Red Spikers, scoring 24 points on 19 attacks and four blocks.
In the fourth set, San Beda and EAC were exchanging points in a tight match, with the Generals down by one point at 22-23. Ruther Abor and Kenneth Batiancilla’s attack helped their team get the set point.
However, Cabalsa forced a deuce with a down-the-line kill at 24-all.
Both teams used their challenges, with San Beda deeming that Marvin Romero’s attack went outside, while for EAC, it was a block touch. San Beda was successful with the challenge, getting a 25-24 match point.
Cabalsa then finished it with an off-the-block kill to seal the victory.
“As I said to them, we started with floor defense, and we established our blocking. So when we were able to set up our backline defense, it was easy for us to follow the pattern,” said San Beda head coach Ariel Dela Cruz as his team tallied 81 receptions and 71 blocks in the game.
“Then, I focused on our service receive because we needed to get our first ball to have a good attack to get points. It was easy for us when we had the first ball because our spikers knew where to go,” he added.
With the win, San Beda will now face Arellano University on Wednesday at the same time and venue.
After the Red Spikers took the first set, they experienced lapses in the second set, with the score tied at 25-all after a Kenrod Umali crosscourt kill. Then Justine Santos’ serve went out, leading the Generals to a set point. Romero’s off-the-block kill settled the set for a 1-1 score.
However, San Beda regained momentum in the third set, with Cabalsa’s down-the-line kill giving his side a 24-16 set point, followed by Santos’ service ace, securing a 2-1 advantage for his team.
Umali registered 13 points on 11 attacks and 14 excellent receptions for the Red Spikers. Meanwhile, Santos, Lorenz Calayag, and Ryan Rosman scored 11 points each, with Santos earning three service aces.
Setter Jerome Lopez led his team with 22 excellent sets and nine excellent digs for San Beda, while Josh Rus contributed 17 excellent digs and 26 excellent receptions.
Joshua Ramilio powered the Generals with 13 points on 12 attacks, one block, eight excellent digs, and 14 excellent receptions. Abor and Romero chipped in 10 and 11 points, respectively.
John Paglaon delivered 13 excellent sets for the losing side, while Lawrence Diones added 18 excellent digs and 13 excellent receptions.
EAC concluded their Season 98 campaign.