Letran vents ire on Benilde, improves to 2-1 in Spiker’s Turf

By: Andrea Ponce
November 16, 2023

Saints and Lattes Letran takes down St. Gerard Construction Benilde with a three-set match. Photo courtesy of Sipkers' Turf.

Saint and Lattes Letran Saint Spikers cleared a three-set match within peaks and valleys against St. Gerard Construction Benilde, 25-21, 25-23, 25-23, yesterday evening held at Paco Arena in Manila.

John Wayne Araño was hailed as the player of the game, racking up 16 excellent sets and two points, followed by John Derrick Bautista, who accumulated 13 points for the team.

Felix Bermido, Vince Himzon and Lorenz Vicente also played their part as they scored 10 markers apiece to bounce back from their tough defeat against Cignal HD Spikers and to improve to 2-1 in the Pool C of the tournament. 

Mike Adrian Balbacal of St. Gerard Construction led his respective team, pinned out Letran Saint Spikers' weakness, and took advantage of the open areas of the team's court.

Without any fuss, Steven Sta. Maria denied an attack by Balbacal and a consecutive event where Himzon showed off his high jump and struck the ball through a two-man blocker successfully.

Bautista, on the other hand, ended the set with a powerful attack landing in a hole that left the opposing team stunned in their positions, 25-21.

NCAA Season 98 Rookie of the Year Himzon, along with Vicente, added to the team's drive as the second set began.

Despite the height of events, Arnel Christian Aguilar of St. Gerard Construction executed a jump with a swift spike against a two-man block of the opposing team.

Vicente, not wanting to waste the team's opportunity to claim the set, carried out a cut shot and a succeeding tactical tap on the ball, which gained two points, favoring the team's side.

As St. Gerard Construction hoped for a change of events, they performed a drop-ball tactic that made the Letran Saint Spikers lose their composure in a minute.

Balbacal, in addition, tried to redeem his team's name through thorough and strategic gameplay.

Both teams tried to keep up with their own momentum to dominate the court but ended up gaining points alternately.

The set concluded as a service error on the Benilde side in a match point, unquestionably favored the match to the Letran Saint Spikers, 25-23.

St. Gerard Construction's Chris Lorenz Villanueva gained 15 excellent sets, together with Arnel Christian Aguilar and Mike Adrian Balbacal, who bagged eight points individually.

Letran Saint Spikers will face Davies Paint Adamson on November 19 at 11 AM at the same venue.