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ISAA 15 volleyball: PATTS, PWU in ‘tasty’ men's final; last seat in women’s finals still up for grabs as ICC seals 1st slot

PATTS spiker Geisehler Panaligan (L) fires a hit against the Treston triple-block coverage in this piece of ISAA volleyball action on Wednesday. ISAA Facebook page 

By Ricky Manliguis

PATTS College of Aeronautics and Philippine Women’s University set up a mouth-watering showdown for the Inter-Scholastic Athletic Association (ISAA) men’s volleyball crown after dispatching their respective semifinal opponents Wednesday at the PATTS gym in Parañaque City.

The top-seeded hosts Seahorses wasted no time in overpowering the fourth-ranked Treston Golden Lions in straight sets, 25-15, 25-16, 25-22, to earn a return trip to the best-of-three finals which starts Monday.

Setter Ivan Climaco was the engine behind the PATTS onslaught throughout the game, setting up his trigger-happy teammates led by Geisehler Panaligan, which earned him the Best Player of the Game honors. 

PWU stalwart Ken Emman Ikalina prepares to unleash a hit against the WCC Skyhawks. ISAA Facebook page

PWU then proceeded to fan the upset clause of the WCC-ATC Skyhawks before carving out a 25-15, 25-20, 25-27, 25-12 success to keep its title-retention bid alive.

The Patriots went on a tear for a 2-0 set advantage only for WCC to mount a spirited rally in the third and force a fourth frame.  

But the boys of Coach Belford Mabunga responded from thereon, taking advantage of the endgame brilliance of Ken Emman Ikalina and Rammel Valenciano plus WCC’s rash of errors for the win.   

In their only elimination game meeting on opening day, PATTS recovered from a tentative first set to turn the tables against PWU, 19-25, 25-18, 25-19, 25-12.   

Christine Joy Apan (C) was a force on both ends of the floor as Immaculada Concepcion College is now in the women's volleyball finals. ISAA Facebook page

On the women’s side, Immaculada Concepcion College already booked a slot in the championship round, picking #4 WCC- ATC apart in their 25-14, 25-16, 25-10 win in the first game of the day.

The Lady Hawks of Coach Edgar Barroga hardly broke a sweat against the Lady Skyhawks, led by the attacking power of Player of the Game Christine Joy Apan enough to extend its unbeaten run to seven games stretching the eliminations.

Their final opponents, however, will have to be determined after third-seed La Consolacion College- Manila broke the twice-to-beat advantage of ICCT Colleges with a convincing 25-11, 25-13, 25-23 victory in the other semis showdown.

The Lady Royals banked on their crisp service game and the steady performances from their usual suspects Kaira Artates and Akisha Saberon to force a do-or-die game on Friday at their home floor. 

La Consolacion-Manila star Akisha Saberon was in her element yet again for the Lady Royals in their semis outing with ICCT Colleges. ISAA Facebook page

The Mendiola-based squad also prevented the Lady Blue Dragons from staging another monumental comeback similar to the latter’s five-set win in the elimination round which went the distance.

ICCT played without their talisman Richelle Opinga, who sat out the game due to a left heel injury she suffered during practice. They also allowed LCCM to fire a game-best 10 service aces.

Game 1 is slated on Monday, January 22, still at the PATTS gym. Game 2 of the finals, as well as the battle for third place, will be played on January 24. 

Follow him on Twitter: @Teaching_Hero

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