by NCAA Press Release
San Sebastian College scrambled its way back from a two-set deficit to eke out a marathon 22-25, 22-25, 25-12, 25-15, 15-12 victory over Letran to complete a two-game sweep and a six-peat feat in the 86th NCAA women’s volleyball tournament at the Fil-Oil/Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
Power-hitting Joy Benito unleashed a 31-hit effort, all coming on attacks, that powered the San Sebastian belles to the come-from-behind victory and their 24th championship overall.
Benito was eventually named the tournament MVP for her superb performance.
“We’re happy to be back on top, its really a good feeling winning a championship again for the school,” said San Sebastian coach Roger Gorayeb, who owns 22 of the 24 titles by the Mendiola-based school since he took over in 1984.
A maze of reception errors proved costly for the Lady Knights, who just blew a 2-0 lead and never recovered from there.
Actually, Letran mustered enough strength to rally its way back from an 8-14 deficit in the deciding set after the troika Mharu Burce, Sarah Espelita and Gena Andaya connived in scoring four unanswered points to close in on 12-14.
Andaya had a chance of sending the Muralla-based squad closer but she misfired on her serve, sending the San Sebastian Lady Spikers and their fans in frantic celebration at centercourt.
Elaine Cruz and rookie Karen Berbano combined fro 25 hits while Bonsai Mirasol contributed 10 including three on blocks in what was her farewell match since she would be graduating this year.
Manel Carolino paced Letran with 14 kills while Burce added 12 she laced with three service aces.
San Sebastian’s Cruz, Benito and Mae Crisostomo also wound up the Best Spiker, Server and Receiver, respectively, while Letran’s Melissa Cu, Andaya and Carolino consoled themselves with the Best Digger, Setter and Scorer awards.
San Beda’s Cess Molina emerged the Best Blocker in the tournament.
The individual performers in the men’s side were Perpetual Help’s Jay Dela Cruz (Best Spiker) at Adam Daquer (Best Blocker), San Beda’s James Lorca (Best Server), Lorenz Capati (Best Scorer) at Pocholo Apostol (Best Digger), Arellano’s John Levi Muñoz (Best Setter) at Chris Salvador (Best Receiver).