Arellano University (AU) dethroned College of Saint Benilde via a thrilling 25-23, 28-26, 25-23 decision to snatch the last finals slot in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 93 men’s volleyball tournament on Tuesday at The Arena in San Juan City.
Christian Dela Paz led the balanced attack of Arellano, scoring 15 points on 11 kills, three aces and a block while Kevin Liberato contributed 12 markers and John Joseph Cabillan had nine points.
Christian Segovia also scored eight and Freedom Lapuz got seven hits.
Isaah Arda paced Benilde with 21 points.
Arellano will be battling University of Perpetual Help System Dalta in the best-of-three championship series beginning on Friday.
The Altas automatically advanced to the finals after sweeping the nine-game elimination round.
In the juniors class, reigning titlist Perpetual Help claimed the first finals berth after ousting AU, 25-17, 20-25, 25-19, 25-17, in their Final Four meeting.
Noel Michael Kampton sizzled with 20 points including 15 kills for the Junior Altas, who are looking to nail their fourth-straight title and 11th crown overall.
“We’re happy to be back in the finals where we have another chance of winning another title,” said Perpetual Help coach Sandy Rieta.
Colegio de San Juan de Letran, meanwhile, stunned top seed and twice-to-beat holder Emilio Aguinaldo College, 21-25, 25-20, 25-13, 25-13, to force a rubber match in the other Final Four game.
Christian Wilsan dela Cruz led the Squires with 15 hits while Mark Denver Omega added 13, John Paulo Lorenzo delivered 12 and Mhel Gabuyo earned 11.
The Letran-EAC do-or-die game is scheduled on Friday at 10 a.m.