The Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates closed out a rollercoaster of a season with a win after needing a huge third-set comeback against the San Sebastian College Recolletos Golden Stags, 25-16, 25-17, 25-23, Monday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Outside spiker Jhonel Badua paced the Intramuros-based crew with 20 points off 14 attacks and three each of blocks and service aces.
The Pirates cruised past the Stags in the first two frames as the former leaned on their wing hitters and defense. Setter and skipper Mark Pecaña was able to squeeze the production of Badua and fellow open hitter Joeward Presnede.
San Sebastian then made a good account of themselves in the third set with better reception, leading to combination attacks, mostly from the middle.
Middle hitter Francis Ronato and lefty opposite spiker James Eugenio put the Stags in a position to extend the match at 20-14, forcing LPU head coach Emil Lontoc to call for time.
The long-time Pirates mentor shared, “Sabi ko bantayan nila yung combination attack ng kalaban. Huwag yung ano, minsan nanghuhula sila eh.”
Upon returning to the match, the Pirates did just that, frustrating the spikers of the Stags. The Lyceans then used their finishes on thd counterattack to slowly inched closer, and eventually pull off the win.
San Sebastian skipper Jahir Ebrahim topped his squad with 13 markers.
Lyceum ended their season at 4-5, good for sixth place. On the other hand, the 3-5 Stags will try to close out their season against the league-leading CSB Blazers (7-1) on Wednesday, January 25.
LPU 3 – Badua 20, Presnede 12, Sapornia 5, Binas 4, Dulce 4, Lajara 2, Pecaña 1, Uy Corral 1, Calvo L, Rubio L.
SSC-R 0 – Ebrahim 13, Ronato 11, Laña 5, Eugenio 4, Ongque 3, Calonia 2, Lazaro 1, Bagonte 0, Toledo L.