Perpetual spikers top Generals, seal 3-peat
MANILA, Philippines - Perpetual Help bounced back from a second set meltdown with a pair of hard-earned wins as it stopped Emilio Aguinaldo College, 25-21, 18-25, 25-21, 25-21, to sweep its way to a three-peat in the 88th NCAA men's volleyball championship at The Arena in San Juan City yesterday.
Rookie Edmar Sanchez unloaded 22 hits, including 20 attacks, while skipper Jay dela Cruz blasted 19 kills to help the Altas complete a 14-game sweep of the season, including three wins in the semifinals and two in the best-of-three title series.
Meanwhile, Perpetual Help remained on course for a double as the Lady Altas hacked out a 21-25, 25-12, 28-26, 29-27 win over the San Sebastian Lady Stags to force a sudden death in their side of the series late in the night.
The Las Piñas-based school also stretched its unbeaten run to 33 stretching from the latter part of the season three years ago.
"Our hardwork, discipline and sacrifice paid off," said Perpetual Help coach Sammy Acaylar, whose wards swept the series opener, 25-22, 25-17, 25-16 last Saturday.
Sanchez also bagged the MVP honors, becoming the first rookie to win the highest individual plum in a long while.
Dela Cruz, on the other hand, lived up to expectations, taking charge for the Altas when the Generals threatened to turn the game around.
"Jay (Dela Cruz) is not the team captain of this team for nothing, in this game he showed the heart of the leader," said Acaylar of his 18-year-old Bacolod City-based standout who was discovered while playing for Western Visayas in the Palarong Pambansa four years ago.
The Generals, behind the power-hitting pair of Howard Mojica and Kerth Melliza, roared back and snatched the second set to draw level. But the Altas imposed their will in the third, coming through with all the answers to the Generals’ repeated comebacks.