Perpetual prevails in five-set thriller over EAC to repeat as NCAA junior volleyball champ

PERPETUAL Help dominated the final two sets as it turned back Emilio Aguinaldo, 25-21, 22-25, 19-25, 25-16, 15-11, on Thursday to clinch its second straight juniors title in the 91st NCAA volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.

Team captain Jody Margaux Severo and Darwin John Salaposo fired 17 hits apiece while Ivan Encila unloaded 13 as the Junior Altas survived a tightly contested Game 2, where they had to claw back from being down two sets, to sweep the series and secure their back-to-back high school crown. 

"The boys showed heart. We were down but they never panicked and adjusted well," said Perpetual Help coach Sandy Rieta.

It was Perpetual Help's eight title overall, seven behind league-best 15 crowns by the San Sebastian Junior Stags.

"We're proud of what the team has accomplished," said Perpetual Help's Policy Board member Anthony Tamayo.

Riding the crest of its 25-13, 25-18, 25-16 win in the series opener Tuesday, the Las Pinas-based school appeared headed to another easy triumph after it took the opening set. But the Brigadiers fought their way back and snatched the next two sets.

It turned out to be EAC's last hurrah as the troika of Severo, Salopaso and Encila took charge from thereon to steal the championship-clinching Game Two victory.

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