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ISAA 15 volleyball finals: PWU, ICC fend off rivals, take 1-0 series leads

Another brilliant late-game performance by Ken Emman Ikalina was enough to put PWU on the cusp of an ISAA men's volleyball repeat. File from the ISAA Facebook page  

By Ricky Manliguis

Philippine Women’s University and Immaculada Concepcion College posted hard-earned wins to highlight Game 1 of the Inter-Scholastic Athletic Association (ISAA) Season 15 volleyball tournament Wednesday at the PATTS College of Aeronautics gym in ParaƱaque City.

The Patriots leaned on the endgame heroics of Ken Emman Ikalina and the defensive brilliance of libero Javen Brylle Quinado in the fifth and final set to fashion out a pulsating 26-24, 14-25, 27-25, 20-25, 15-13 victory over host team PATTS Seahorses and move a win away from securing back-to-back men’s titles.    

Down 10-12 in the decider, Ikalima racked up three of the final five PWU points, including the off-the-block hit that enabled the boys from Taft to finish off the two-hour, eight-minute tussle. The skipper Quindao also provided the needed floor defense especially at crunchtime amidst the scoring barrage by the Seahorses.   

Ikalina finished with 12 points spiked on 10 attacks and two service aces, while John Paul Cruz chipped in 11 markers and John Reymond Rabino 10 for PWU. Quindao, the reigning Best Libero of the league, finished in double digits in digs.

Joshua Oribello paced PATTS, which lost only for the second time this season stretching the elimination rounds, with a game-best 17 points, while captain Reggem Gemotra and Kristoffer Alejos both cashed in 13.

Setter Charlotte Tutanes and the rest of Immaculada Concepcion College are a win away from the women's tournament sweep. File from the ISAA Facebook page.

In the women’s finals, the Lady Blue Hawks started out strong then weathered the storm put up by La Consolacion College- Manila in the next two sets en route to a 25-12, 25-21, 26-24 win to likewise secure a 1-0 lead in the series.

The Edgar Barroga-mentored squad nearly squandered several leads, especially in the third set behind a relentless rally by the Lady Blue Royals, but hung tough in the end behind Player of the Match Gelah Lopez to secure the win.

Both PWU and ICC will try to sweep their respective finals series with Game 2 scheduled on Wednesday also at the PATTS gym. Game 3, if necessary, will be on Friday also at the same venue.

Also to be played out on Wednesday will be the battle for third place in both divisions. The men’s bronze medal game will feature the WCC-ATC Skyhawks and the Treston Golden Lions, while ICCT Colleges and WCC-ATC battle it out in the women’s side.  

Follow him on Twitter: @Teaching_Hero

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