The De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) Blazers swept their opponent and last season’s champion, University of Perpetual Help System Dalta (UPHSD) Altas, during the Finals opener game of the 92nd Season of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Volleyball tournament yesterday, February 3, at the Filoil Flying V Arena, San Juan.
The Taft squad faced a whirlwind of a game; but despite the high-stakes, they performed marvelously, trouncing Altas in all three sets. The first set went in favor of the Blazers, who managed to execute a number of service aces one after the other against Perpetual’s series of service errors. Showing how prepared they were for this match, the team took control of the set with eight points away from the Altas (17-25).
Tensions reached a climax in the second set with both teams putting up a neck and neck fight. It was during this set that Team Captain and Senior JohnVic De Guzman scored the majority of his 19 points—16 from attacks alone, alongside Isaah Arada and Francis Basilan on the front with a game total of 13 and 9 points, respectively. The second set almost went to the Altas but the boys in green and white managed to pull two points ahead and earned their second set of the game (24-26).
In an interview with The Benildean, De Guzman commented, “I just [kept] telling myself, they can’t win a set. At kaya pa namin ‘to basta focus lang.”
The Blazers maintained their momentum during the third and final set, sweeping the defending champions with a commanding 17-25, 26-24, 17-25 win; now they are one step closer to the title, the College’s first if the Taft squad bags the championship.
“One step closer. Hopefully, with the support of the Benildean community we can make history. After tonight’s rest –there’s no time out– balik training kami tomorrow and mag-ready for Game 2,” De Guzman said.
In addition, the Captain expressed his excitement for Game 2, saying, “I’m very excited to end this season with the championship trophy finally landing in CSB! Pangako ko ‘yan sa sarili ko. Pangako ko ‘yan sa inyo. Pagdasal ninyo po kami.”
Support the Blazers in Game 2 of this Finals this February 7, 2pm at The Arena, San Juan.
Photos by Joriel Bataan