Perpetual bets claim finals slots

UNIVERSITY of Perpetual Help swept the juniors and men’s divisions by trouncing Jose Rizal University to claim outright finals spots in the 94th NCAA volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan yesterday.

The Altas smashed the Bombers 25-21, 25-21, 25-13 while the Junior Altas flattened the Light Bombers 25-13, 25-17, 25-11 to complete a nine-game sweep of the eliminations that catapulted them straight to the best-of-three finals set Feb. 1.

Ronniel Rosales led his team with 14 points while last year’s rookie MVP Joebert Almodiel scattered 12 to push Perpetual Help two wins closer from booking their second straight men’s title and 12th overall, two short from tying Letran as the league’s most title winning team with 14.

No. 2 College of St. Benilde (8-1), No. 3 Arellano U (7-2) and No. 4 Emilio Aguinaldo College (5-4) will go through the stepladder semis starting Tuesday to determine Perpetual’s finals opponent.

Power-hitting Noel Michael Kampton led all hitters with 12 points to help push the Las Pinas-based school to a couple of triumphs away from claiming a five-peat feat and an 11th high school championships overall.

Their challenger will come whichever among Letran, Lyceum of the Philippines University and EAC will come out victorious after the stepladder semis.

In the women’s division, UPHSD turned back JRU 25-13, 19-25, 25-21, 25-14 to claim the last ticket to the Final Four with a 6-3 record.

The Lady Altas arranged a duel with College of St. Benilde, which grabbed the top seeding after finishing tied with the Arellano U Lady Chiefs, last year’s titlists, and the San Beda Lady Red Spikers at 8-1 and edging the two on a superior tiebreak.

No. 2 AU and No. 3 San Beda face off in the other Final Four match.

Both CSB and AU will just need a win to advance to the finals while UPHSD and San Beda will have to win two straight times to make it through.