SAINTS and Lattes-Letran dished out a near-impeccable performance in beating Coast Guard, 25-18, 25-6, 25-21, to clinch the last quarterfinal berth in the Spikers’ Turf Invitational Conference at the Paco Arena in Manila Friday.
The Saints Spikers dominated the Lifesavers in the opening set, limited their rivals to a measly six-point output in the next then held sway with big hits from Derrick Bautista and clutch plays from Vince Himzon in the third to fashion out the straight-set victory at the close of the elims in the season-ending conference organized by Sports Vision.
They finished the Pool C play with a 4-1 slate behind the unbeaten Cignal HD Spikers (5-0) and advanced to the knockout playoffs.
“Thank God we got this win and make the quarterfinals,” Letran coach Brian Esquibel said.
The Saints Spikers will face Pool B topnotcher Cabstars-Cabuyao on Sunday with the winner tangling with guest team Maruichi Hyogo from Japan.
The Saints Spikers actually faced a resurgent Coast Guard unit in the third that saw the Lifesavers racing to an 11-7 lead. But Bautista stepped up to spark a big Letran counter-attack with middle blocker Himzon providing the endgame savvy to secure the win, the sweep and the quarters berth in 76 minutes.
Himzon produced 21 points on 16 attacks and five blocks, while Bautista finished with 10 points, the bulk of which he delivered in the third.
Aidam Adam and Rudy Gatdula had 12 and eight points, respectively, for Coast Guard, which wound up with a 0-5 card.
The other quarterfinalists are Sta. Elena-National University and University of Perpetual Help-Kinto Tyres from Pool A, Cabstars-Cabuyao and EcoOil-La Salle from Pool B and Pool D’s Navy and Chef on a Diet-Far Eastern University.