Lady Stags Stay Alive; Altas Champions

NCAA Season 91     SAN JUAN City – With emotions overflowing, San Sebastian College forced a winner-take-all match for the 91st National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Women’s Volleyball title by derailing College of Saint Benilde in four sets, 25-22, 25-19, 26-28 and 25-23, Tuesday (January 26) at the San Juan Arena. The decider will be played on Thursday (January 28) at the same venue starting at 3:30 PM.

Grethcel Soltones, drawing inspiration from a surprise reunion with her mother as she received the season’s Most Valuable Player award before the match, submitted fitting numbers of 31 points including four off service aces. Aside from the MVP, Soltones was also named as Best Scorer.

Other individual awardees were Arellano University’s CJ Rosario as Best Spiker and Rhea Ramirez as Best Setter, San Sebastian’s Alyssa Eroa as Best Digger, Jose Rizal University’s Shola Alvarez as Best Server and Saint Benilde’s Jeanette Panaga as Best Blocker and Melanie Torrers as Best Receiver. Nieza Viray of San Beda College got the nod as Rookie of the Year.

The Lady Blazers were on a roll by winning the first two games of the championship series and had hoped to end it all. The Lady Stags had won all their nine games prior to the series.

Earlier in the day, University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta dethroned Emilio Aguinaldo College to take back the Seniors Division title. The five-setter ended with scores of 25-22, 23-25, 29-27, 22-25 and 17-15.

The Altas rallied from a four-point deficit in the final set, 4-8, as the Generals suffered a major collapse. Winning coach Sammy Acaylar was named as Coach of the Year while Junjun Taneo was selected as MVP of the Finals.

EAC team leader Howard Mojica dominated the season awards as he captured his second straight MVP plum on top other awards for Best Scorer, Best Spiker and Best Server. The other individual awards went to Mapua Tech’s Angelino Pertierra as Best Blocker and Dion Canlas as Best Digger, San Beda’s John Carlo Desuyo as Best Setter, Saint Benilde’s Ajian Dy as Best Receiver and San Sebastian’s Walt Amber Gervacio as Rookie of the Year.

Meanwhile, the best of the Juniors Division were also honored with Ralph Joshua Pitogo of runner-up Immaculate Conception Academy-Dasmarinas bagging the MVP, Rookie of the Year and Best Blocker trophies together with teammates Cee Jay Hicap as Best Receiver and Michael Vince Imperial as Best Server. The champion Perpetual Help produced Best Setter Gabriel Casana and Best Spiker Ryuji Etorma while Arellano’s Aldimal Waham and Barrie Roldan took Best Scorer and Best Digger respectively.

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About Anthony E. Servinio

A long-time television sportscaster, magazine writer, photographer and college professor from the Philippines finally gives blogging a try after more than a decade of on-line presence. Read on folks!
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