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3-peat for Jr. Altas

Perpetual Help showed incredible resolve as it downed Lyceum of the Philippine University, 25-17, 27-25, 25-16, yesterday to complete a three-game sweep and three-peat in the juniors division of the 92nd NCAA volleyball tournament at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Marvien Castillo and Paul Solamin fired 14 and 12 hits, respectively, to lead the Juniors Altas to their third straight title and ninth overall, the second most by any team in the league behind San Sebastian’s league-best 15 high school championships.

It was also the same power-hitting duo who came through big in the second set when the Las Piñas-based school, which handily took the opening set, staved off an attempt by LPU to snatch a set.

It turned out LPU’s last show of resistence as Perpetual Help left no stones unturned to claim the title-clinching win.

And then it was all pandemonium.

“The boys were just determined to win it today (yesterday) and we dedicate this to the Perpetual Help and supporters,” said Perpetual Help coach Sandy Rieta in Filipino.

Rieta also said the journey this year was made tougher because they had to overcome early season struggles after finishing third in the elimination round and surviving Leran in a knockout duel, beating No. 2 Emilio Aguinaldo twice and erasing LPU’s thrice-to-beat edge.

“It was the most difficult championship for us, that’s why it was special,” said Rieta.

LPU went home empty-handed after appearing to have the title in the bag when it swept the elimination round and advancing straight to the finals where it needed to just win two to claim it.

But Perpetual Help had other things in mind.

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