Letran rallies past LPU, books spot in finals; Men’s fall short against EAC

By: Rich Longakit
May 15, 2024

The Letran Lady Knights secure their finals spot against LPU in the women's division after the men's division ends their semi-final stint. Photo courtesy of Yvonne Altaire Solon & Eduardo Nollora Jr. of The LANCE.

Women’s Division

The Letran Lady Knights won an exciting five-set semifinal match in the NCAA Season 99 Women's Volleyball Tournament on Wednesday at the San Andres Sports Complex in Manila, defeating Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU), 25-15, 25-21, 19-25, 19-25, 15-11.

Together with team captain and libero, Lara Mae Silva, the explosive sophomore-rookie combination of Judiel Nitura and Gia Maquilang drove Letran's success. 

With 22 points and 16 receptions, Maquilang put on a strong display for the group, while Nitura churned out 23 points on 21 assaults, a block, and an ace.

After leading the contest with two sets to none advantage, the Lady Knights faltered in the third and fourth frames as LPU began to settle themselves into their offense. 

Coach Oliver Almadro’s squad overcame the streaking Lady Pirates and finished with a spectacular 7-0 run capped off by a kill from Nitura to send them to their first finals appearance in 12 years. 

Joan Doguna delivered 22 markers built on 18 attacks backed by Janeth Tulang, who carved out 12 of her own in the losing effort.

Letran will face the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, the reigning champions, in a best-of-three series starting this Sunday, May 19.


Men’s Division 

In a hard-fought match earlier today, the Letran Knights were unable to overcome the Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) Generals, 28-30, 15-25, 25-19, 26-28, settling for bronze in the NCAA Season 99 Men's Volleyball tournament.

Vince Himzon scored 22 points, including 19 attacks and three rejections, followed by Steven Sta. Maria who finished with 21 markers to lead the Letran Knights’ offensive front.

Both sides tried to match each other's tempo, but the Generals stepped up when it mattered the most en route to a trip to the finals.

Letran put up a resolute comeback in the fourth set, overturning a six-point deficit to level the scores at 24-24. Unfortunately, they were unable to halt Ruther Abor’s presence as they surrendered the series in four.

Abor tallied a game-high 24 points on 20 attacks together with Patrick Osabel who contributed 20 of his own markers, while Marvin Romero had 18.

The Knights look to carry the momentum they built this season onto the next with a renewed determination and strength for a better placement.