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La Salle, UST down rivals in PVL opener

La Salle and University of Santo Tomas launched their title bids in contrasting fashions, downing their respective rivals at the start of the men’s division in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference yesterday at The Arena in San Juan City.

The Archers survived NCAA defending champion College of St. Benilde Blazers, 25-27, 26-24, 25-23, 25-22, while the Tigers routed University of the Philippines Maroons, 25-17, 25-22, 25-15.

La Salle, which finished fourth last year, bucked a lethargic start before dominating its sister team – thanks to the stellar showing of Cris Dumagio.

The high-leaping Dumagio fired 15 kills for 18 points.

Arjay Onia and Raymark Woo also figured offensively with identical 16 points, including Onia’s 15 attacks and Woo’s three service aces.

St. Benilde skipper Isaah Arda delivered with 21 points built on 18 hits and two blocks, but the Blazers’ 27 errors hastened their downfall.

Meanwhile, UST played superb defensively, limiting UP to just 19 kills.

None from UP finished in double figures, with star players Wendel Miguel and Nicolo Consuelo combining only for 18 points.

The Tigers, out to improve on their third-place finish last year, fired 36 kills including 11 from Joshua Umandal, who finished with 13 points.