February 25, 2018, 3:44 am
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Jr Altas return to finals

REIGNING titlist Perpetual Help downed Arellano University 25-17, 20-25, 25-19, 25-17 yesterday to clinch the first finals berth in the 93rd NCAA juniors’ volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan City.

Noel Michael Kampton led the way with 20 points including 15 on kills to help power the Junior Altas back into the best-of-three finale against the winner of the other Final Four match pitting Emilio Aguinaldo and Letran.

The Las Pinas-based school is gunning a fourth straight crown and 11th overall, which would make it the second most titled team in NCAA high school volleyball behind Letran, which has 14 championships.

“We’re happy to be back in the finals where we have another chance of winning another title,” said Perpetual Help coach Sandy Rieta in Filipino.

The Squires, seeded fourth, foiled a much-anticipated Perpetual-EAC title showdown after it pulled off a shock 21-25, 25-20, 25-13, 25-13 win over the top-seeded Brigadiers to force a knockout duel on Friday for the last championship berth.

It was the second straight do-or-die win for Letran, which also edged San Beda 25-16, 24-26, 25-19, 20-25, 20-18 Friday to clinch the last spot to the Final Four.

Christian Wilsan dela Cruz led a balanced attack with 15 hits while Mark Denver Omega, John Paulo Lorenzo and Mhel Gabuyo chipped in 13, 12 and 11 points, respectively, to help the Squires to snatch the win.

EAC, which clinched the top seeding entering the Final Four, will have a chance to make a return trip to the finals as it hopes to stop Letran.

In men’s action, Arellano University denied College of St. Benilde a title-repeat as it pulled off a 25-22, 28-26, 25-23 victory to advance to the finals against Perpetual Help.

Christian dela Paz and Kevin Liberato combined for 27 points to help lift the Chiefs set up a best-of-three title showdown with Perpetual Help, which got to the finals first after a nine-game elimination round sweep, on Friday.
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