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    Perpetual nips St. Benilde to claim NCAA men's title repeat via season sweep

    Feb 8, 2019
    PHOTO: dante peralta

    JOEBERT Almodiel provided the championship points to help University of Perpetual Help edge hard-fighting College of Saint Benilde, 23-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-23, and complete a perfect NCAA Season 94 men’s volleyball tournament run on Wednesday at the Arena in San Juan City.

    Holding a 2-1 match advantage and an 18-7 spread in the fourth set, the Altas flirted with disaster as the Blazers unloaded a 14-4 run to cut down Perpetual Help’s lead to just one, 22-21, in Game Two of the best-of-three Finals.

    Setter Gabriel Casana gave Perpetual Help a 23-21 breather with a smart dump but he committed a service error, allowing St. Benilde to pull within one.

    But Almodiel, who won his second MVP award in just his sophomore year, outsmarted his blocker for match point, 24-22, before delivering the hit that completed the Altas’ 11-game sweep of Season 94.

    Almodiel was also named Finals MVP after unleashing 19 points off 17 kills. Ridzuan Muhali also had 19 hits including 11 digs.

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    “Sinabihan ko lang yung teammates ko na compose lang, wag natin hayaan yung tayo yung magkakamali, hayaan natin yung kalaban na magkamali kasi konti na lang makukuha na natin yung kinakamit natin," said Almodiel.

    Graduating skipper Ramos and 1st Best Middle blocker Ronniel Rosales added nine points each while setter Casana paced the team with 27 excellent sets on top of six points.

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    Sammy Acaylar won his 12th title for Perpetual - the second most in the men's division just two behind Letran.

    “Hindi namin inisip na isi-sweep namin. We just told our players to perform well and kung ano ang pinaghirapan namin noon,” Acaylar said. “Kasi if in case na iisipin namin yun magkakaroon kami ng maraming lapses kasi naka-focus lang kami doon," Acaylar said.

    “Sinabi ko rin sa kanila na (individual awardees) na it is only a trophy, individual but the most important thing is yung team yung championship.”

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    Rookie of the Year Vince Abrot and Adviento led St. Benilde with 12 points each while skipper Francis Basilan scored 10 points in his farewell game.

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    PHOTO: dante peralta
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