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Tiebreaker Times
(C) Roman Prospero/SSL


Perpetual plays spoiler, joins three UAAP teams in SSL Final Four

University of Perpetual Help System DALTA did not allow a potential meeting between Jerry Yee and his former school.

The Altas shocked reigning NCAA champions College of Saint Benilde in a five-set affair, 25-16, 20-25, 28-26, 16-25, 15-12, on Wednesday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

Perpetual Help will meet Adamson University while defending UAAP champion De La Salle University takes on University of Santo Tomas in the other semis pairing in this tournament that is backed by Mikasa, Team Rebel Sports, Summit Bottled Water, Genius Sports, Potato Corner, Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken and Sauce Bar, and R&B Tea.

Reigning NCAA MVP Mary Rhose Dapol flashed her brilliance with a tournament-high of 33 points built on 28 attacks, four aces and a block as the Lady Atlas set up a semis duel with the Lady Falcons on Friday.

Winnie Bedaña, Shaila Omipon, and Charmaine Ocado tallied 17, 13, and 11 points, respectively, for Perpetual in the match that lasted two hours and seven minutes.

“Masaya syempre kasi malakas ang CSB bilang back-to-back NCAA champion. Thank God at maganda yung nilaro ng mga bata,” said coach Sandy Rieta.

“Hindi ko rin ine-expect. Di ko nga alam schedule ng semifinals kasi ang iniisip ko, quarters lang kami pero andon din yung tiwala na mananalo kami. Malaki ang tiwala ko sa team. Nakita ko yung improvement nila from previous NCAA seasons,” Rieta continued.

As CSB forced a rubber set by dominating the fourth frame and got off to the races with a 3-1 lead in the clincher, Dapol willed Perpetual anew by stringing four straight points for a 5-3 cushion that snowballed to an 11-7 gap en route to a historic triumph highlighted by Ocado’s attack.

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Meanwhile, Lucille Almonte posted 12 points on eight hits and four aces as the Lady Falcons stretched their winning ways without a single set allowed after a 25-9, 25-11, 25-23 whipping of CESAFI titlist University of San Jose-Recoletos.

Earlier, La Salle hardly broke a sweat against Mindanao bet Jose Maria College Foundation (JMCF), 25-18, 25-14, 25-19, while UST needed four sets to fend off Luzon qualifier and NAASCU champion Enderun Colleges, 25-13, 25-16, 21-25, 25-14.

The twin towers of Shevana Laput and Thea Gagate once again ran roughshod both on offense and defense to lead La Salle’s third easy win in a row without a single set yielded.

“Marami pa rin kaming dapat ayusin heading into the semis. Ibang labanan na doon,” said deputy mentor Noel Orcullo, who believed his wards have more to offer despite equally big wins against University of the Perpetual Help System Dalta and CESAFI runner-up University of Southern Philippines Foundation in Pool A play.

Angeline Poyos pumped in 18 points on 12 attacks, two blocks and four aces as UST recovered in time to buck a scare from Enderun, which banked on a 12-5 start to snatch a 21-25 win in the fourth set.

Regina Jurado and Athena Abbu added 10 and nine points, respectively, with Xyza Gula, Jonna Perdido and Maribeth Hilongo chipping in eight points each in the match that lasted one hour and 36 minutes.

“Ice-credit mo rin ‘yung kalaban mo kasi hindi naman kami ‘yung pinakamagaling na hindi pwedeng matalo kaya nga kami nandito. Ganoon din ‘yung Enderun, trinabaho nila,” said coach Kungfu Reyes.

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Meanwhile, Zamantha Nolasco had 28 points in a foiled cause for Pool D top-seed CSB as Christelle Tamayo served as the lone bright spot for Pool B No. 2 team USJ-R with nine points.

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