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Novo, Doria keep Lyceum at bay, power Letran Knights breakthrough in NCAA 95

Colegio de San Juan de Letran shrugged off a lethargic start and cranked up its balanced offensive machine, disposing of Lyceum of the Philippines University, 19-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-22, to barge into the winner’s circle of the NCAA Season 95 Men’s Volleyball Tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre, Friday.

Brylle Novo and Michael Doria showed the way for the Knights.

Novo was nothing short of reliable on both offense and defense, pummeling 17 points while collecting 16 excellent receptions. Doria would not be denied as well, scattering 14 attacks, two blocks and an ace for an identical output of 17.

The hard-hitting Letran duo nailed the differential hits in the decisive fourth frame, where the Pirates whittled away a sizable deficit to forge a seesaw battle that ultimately went to the Knights’ way.

“Actually noong first set nag struggle pa rin eh, pero expected ko naman na mananalo sila ngayon dahil sa pinakita nilang effort kasi last game namin sa Mapua,” Letran head coach Bryan Esquibel said, as his side rose to 1-4 for a joint seventh place with San Sebastian.

“Makikita mo naman sa laro namin ngayon, malayong malayo doon sa first four matches namin na very down talaga, ‘yung parang tiwala nila sa sarili, hindi pa ganoon ka-buo. Ngayon kahit nage-error nage-enjoy pa rin sila,” he added.

Mhel Gabuyo also added 10 markers to Letran’s offensive thrust, which saw nine markers tally a point. And without a doubt, setter Jaypaul Tabbada was the anchor of that well-balanced scoring, tossing out 26 excellent sets.

The Pirates, though, proved to be much a force at the net than the Knights with a seven to four differential. But the latter more than made up for it in the attacking department, 61 to 49.

Lyceum fell down the cellar with a 1-5 card.

Kier Tibayan and Josie Velasco III had 13 markers each that went down the drain, as Charles Del Rio managed to put up 10 in a losing cause.

Letran will try to build from this win when it collides with Arellano on Tuesday, February 4. Meanwhile, Lyceum will seek to regain its winning form when it takes on Mapua on Thursday, February 6. Both matches will be held at the same venue.

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