St. Benilde cops 1st NCAA volley crown


College of Saint Benilde posted a thrilling 25-12, 21-25, 17-25, 25-14, 18-16 come-from-behind win over University of Perpetual Help System Dalta in Game 2 to claim its first-ever men’s crown on Tuesday in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 92 men’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.

Team captain Johnvic De Guzman, who took the season Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, sizzled with 28 points while Owen Bacali contributed nine attacks, two blocks and two aces. Isaah Arda added seven markers also for the Blazers

“We didn’t expect this, we were down in the fifth set but we didn’t give up. We just did our best and we’re happy that we made it,” De Guzman said.

Setter Mark Deximo had 55 excellent sets and Ajian Dy provided the needed floor defense with 19 receptions and 12 digs.

The Blazers swept the best-of-three championship series following their 25-17, 26-24, 25-17 win over the Altas in Game 1 on Friday.

Arda, who scored an average of 10.0 points in the series, claimed the Finals MVP plum.

De Guzman also bagged Best Opposite Spiker award while Joshua Mina of Emilio Aguinaldo College was named Rookie of the Year.

The other awardees were Adrian Viray of San Beda College (First Best Outside Spiker), John Joseph Cabillan of Arellano University (Second Best Outside Spiker), Kevin Liberato of Arellano (First Best Middle blocker), Limuel Patenio of San Beda (Second Best Middle blocker), Jack Kalingking of Perpetual Help (Best Libero) and Relan Taneo of Perpetual Help (Best Setter).

In the juniors division, defending champion Perpetual Help blasted Lyceum of the Philippines University, 25-21, 25-18, 25-22, in Game 1.Ivan Encila led the Junior Altas with 11 points while Ryuji Condrad Etorma and Marvien Castillo scattered 10 points apiece against the thrice-to-beat Junior Pirates.

Lyceum earned the finals incentive after sweeping their seven-game elimination round.

“I kept telling my players who won last year because we showed heart and I’m happy they responded by playing well in this game,” said Perpetual Help coach Sandy Rieta.

Game 2 is set on Friday at the same venue.


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