The College of Saint Benilde Blazers have a knack at starting their years on a rousing note and 2019 is no different.
The second-running Taft-based squad needed just a little over an hour to stifle the Lyceum of the Philippines University in three sets, 25-16, 25-19, 25-23, to inch closer to one of the four semifinals berth of the NCAA Season 94 men’s volleyball tournament, Friday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Paced by their middle blockers, captain Francis Basilan and second-year Joshua De Sequera, the Blazers bagged their fifth win in sixth outings to keep in step with the defending champions University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas. Basilan finished with 10 points off seven attacks and three blocks, as De Sequera ended with identical total on six spikes and four rejections.
During the Christmas break, the squad had their annual training camp, and head coach Arnold Laniog shared that they also used the break to the hilt as it was badly needed. “Yung recovery nung mga injured, lalo na si (Ruvince) Abrot ngayon lang ulit nakalaro yun. The last two games namin last year hindi siya nakalaro.”
He also added that the team worked on their consistency, especially that the next few games will be crucial to their bid to get at least one of the two twice-to-beat incentives, if still applicable.
“Mas patitibayin pa namin yung team chemistry going into the semis kasi nga nag-iiba-iba kami ng first six,” the former Blazer himself furthered. “I think yung mga makakalaban namin kahit less chance sa Final Four, aayusin pa rin namin yung sa tao and eventually magco-connect yun sa performance sa court.
Juvic Colonia led the Pirates with 12 markers.
In the other men’s match, the San Beda University Red Spikers snapped a four-game losing skid at the expense of rivals Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights.
Jomaru Amagan and Melver Lapurga combined for 30 points to lead the pride on offense. The Mendiola-based squad also edged out the Knights in all scoring skills despite some problems on defense.
The Blazers (5-1) will take on the Jose Rizal University (2-5) on Tuesday, January 8 at 10 am, while the Pirates (2-5) will battle the semis-seeking Emilio Aguinaldo College (5-2) on the following Friday at 10 am as well.
On the other hand, San Beda (2-5) will try to spoil San Sebastian College’s run (3-3) on Tuesday, January 8 at 3:30 pm. The Knights (1-6) will face the struggling Mapua University (2-4) on Thursday, January 10 at 10 am.
CSB 3 – Basilan 10, De Sequera 10, Abrot 8, Bacani 7, Adviento 4, Gauani 4, Magsino 2, Daculan 2, Ugalde 1, San Miguel 0, Bautista 0, Dy L, Dumaran L.
LPU 0 – Colonia 12, Saporna 8, Binas 7, Tibayan 7, Uy Corral 3, Lajara 2, Porto 1, Negrillo 0, Legaspi 0, Moral L, Golloso L.
SBU 3 – Amagan 15, Lapurga 15, Losa 12, Torres 11, Daquil 4, Estavillo 3, Nursiddik 2, Muallil 0, Tibay L.
CSJL 0 – Gabuyo 11, Cistina 9, Canzana 9, Era 7, Capacete 7, Doria 3, Tabbada 2, Tongio 0, Real L, Brioso L.