SnL-Letran falls to Maruichi in Spiker’s Turf bronze medal match

By: Rich Longakit
December 16, 2023

SnL Letran fails to take home a win, falling to Maruichi Hyogo in the Spiker's Turf Bronze Medal match. Photo courtesy of Benedict Yangco of The LANCE.

Saint and Lattes-Letran came up on the short end of the stick in a one-game battle for bronze medal at Spikers' Turf Invitational Conference at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City Friday, losing 25-20, 16-25, 21-25, 25-22, 11-15 against Maruichi Hyogo.

Conference MVP and best middle blocker Vince Himzon finished with 21 points on 19 spikes and two aces, while best outside spiker BemBem Bautista had 11 points. 

The Intramuros-based group dominated their younger opponents in the opening set, but the Japanese controlled the following two sets, yielding the fourth until they won all three. 

Despite this, the Letran Knights refused to surrender without a battle, commanded by Himzon's valor who attempted to rally the Saint Spikers with back-to-back rapid strikes, prompting Hyogo to counter with attacks. 

Letran's commitment to keep the game going helped them win the set thanks to Bautista's strong attacks but despite his attempts, he was unable to save the squad as Maruichi replied with a towered block strike. 

As no team was willing to let up on Maruichi, both squads exchanged spike after spike until the momentum totally swung in favor of the Japanese squad for them to win the bronze medal. 

Yuji Kawagoe topscored with game-high 32 markers on top of 21 excellent receptions while Kyosuke Kashimoto churned out 23 points and Hinata Kuroda produced 18.