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Tiebreaker Times


Blazers gain crucial ground after slipping past Pirates

The NCAA Season 92 Men’s Volleyball tournament has seen tight clashes with six teams in contention for a Final Four spot.

Perennial semifinalists College of Saint Benilde kept pace of the rest of the pack after toughing out a four-set win over fellow contenders Lyceum of the Philippines University 26-28, 25-19, 25-17, 25-21 earlier today at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Both teams fell into a trend that persisted for the entire match. The Blazers built early leads to start off each set thanks to the Pirates’ errors. Lyceum would then get a boost from Benilde’s errors to trim the deficit. The Blazers, however, mustered strong finishes to close sets.

“Credit talaga sa Lyceum kasi talagang tinyatiyaga nila bawat set. Ang maganda lang sa mga players ko ngayon is nakakapag-focus sila pagdating sa dulo para ‘di na makahabol ‘yung kalaban,” said Benilde head coach Arnold Laniog.

But it was a different to begin the match as both squads tussled for control. The Pirates eventually gained two set points, 24-22, after a Johnvic De Guzman mishit. But the Benilde skipper got the team to deuce serves that resulted in an ace and a free ball. Isaah Arda then scored to keep the Blazers ahead but their own late errors gave the 1-0 lead to Lyceum.

From there, the Blazers controlled the match, limiting their miscues in crucial moments of the match to improve their record to 4-1.

De Guzman once again topped all scorers with 26 points off 23 attacks, two blocks, and an ace. Middle hitter Jethro Orian commanded the net with 15 points which includes six blocks while Isaah Arda finished with 14 markers.

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Joeward Presnede led the Pirates with 23 points while Jhonel Badua tallied 12.

Benilde’s 4-1 record puts them second in the standings behind 4-0 Arellano and ahead of the 3-1 San Beda College and Perpetual Help Altas. Lyceum falls to fifth with a 2-2 slate.

Saint Benilde next faces EAC (0-4) next Monday while LPU takes on Mapua (2-3) next Tuesday.

The Scores

CSB (3) – De Guzman 26, Orian 15, Arda 14, Bacani 8, Jordan 5, Magsino 1, Bautista 0, Daming 0, Deximo 0, Dy (L), Garcia (L)

LPU (1) – Presnede 23, Badua 12, Dulce 11, Ganilla 2, Saporna 2, Binas 1, Samonte 1, Uy 1, Donsao 0, Magpantay 0, Pecaña 0, Calvo (L), Rubio (L)

Written By

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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