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Young San Beda Red Spikers defuse JRU to kick off NCAA 95 bid

San Beda University kicked off its NCAA Season 95 men’s volleyball campaign on a positive note, subduing Jose Rizal University, 25-19, 24-26, 25-20, 25-21, Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Melver Lapurga stood out among the rookie- and sophomore-laden Red Spikers. The San Beda captain put up 19 points, with all but one coming from attacks.

Jeffrey Losa supplemented 17 markers. Abdurasad Nursiddik and Lorenz Calayag also provided ample support on the defensive end with three blocks each to finish with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

“Actually, sabi ko nga sa kanila na maglaro lang sila ng natural. Ipakita lang nila na eto ‘yung bagong mukha ng San Beda. So, sa akin, ipinaubaya ko na sa kanila, malaki ang tiwala ko sa kanila kaya maglaro nalang sila ng maayos,” San Beda head coach Ariel Dela Cruz said.

Meanwhile, Ferdinand Ulibas, Jr. — the lone graduating spiker in San Beda’s den — delivered nine markers. He also flaunted his defensive wares after collecting nine excellent digs and 10 excellent receptions.

Fernando Lopez then fanned out 15 excellent sets. His playmaking oiled the Red Spikers’ artillery, which outgunned the Heavy Bombers in the attacking department, 58-52.

But more than its punch-packing offensive thrust, San Beda also relied on its net defense to capture the breakthrough victory at the critical juncture of the match.

Knotted at 17 in the decisive fourth set, Calayag and Nursiddik tightened San Beda’s defensive screws, creating separation at 23-20 — a gap that proved insurmountable for JRU.

The Heavy Bombers were spearheaded by Matthew Miguel, who fired 18 points anchored on 16 attacks and two blocks in a losing cause. June Laxina and Lester Villaceran, Jr. managed 14 and 10 markers, respectively.

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San Beda will try to make it two in a tow when it collides against San Sebastian on Tuesday, January 21. Meanwhile, JRU will seek to chalk a win at the expense Arellano on Thursday, January 23. Both matches will be played at the same venue. in

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