THE Philippine Merchant Marine School is back as men’s champions, while La Salle-Dasmarinas retained the women’s crown for a third straight season in the 21st National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) volleyball tournament.
The Mariners got big plays from Alsali Pajiji and Midfaizal Mohammad in the final set as they needed only three sets to put away the Olivarez College Sea Lions, 25-19, 25-13, 25-22, at their foes' own on homecourt – the Olivarez College Sports Complex in Sucat, Paranaque.
In the women's finals, graduating veteran Giselle Bembo joined hands with Jennifer Zarate at the front as they came up with timely hits that carried the defending champion Lady Patriots to a 25-19, 18-25, 13-25, 25-16, 15-6 conquest of the Rizal Technological University Lady Thunders.
Heads-up plays from Bembo and Zarate allowed the Lady Patriots to retain the women’s crown for the third straight season, two of them under the late Darwin Campana, who passed away late last year.
Pajiji and Mohammad stepped up with their frontline plays right after they forced a 19-all deadlock in the third set. Their efforts handed the Mariners the title, which they yielded to the La Salle-Dasmarinas Patriots last season.
The Mariners, who came off with a 22-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-15 subduing of the Sea Lions last Tuesday in Game 1, finished off their rivals in 62 minutes as they came up with a two-game sweep of their best-of-three finals series.
“Tinatagan namin ang defense namin sa kanila. Nag-trabaho nang mabuti sina Pajiji at Mohammad,” said coach Robert Buenamente of the Mariners, who had Paisal Bullong earning MVP honors.
Meanwhile, it took the Lady Patriots around 105 minutes to finish off the Lady Thunders and also claim a two-game sweep of their best-of-three title showdown.
In Game 1, the Lady Patriots hacked out a 22-25, 25-19, 25-15, 25-20 win over RTU.