(FilOil Flying V Arena)
8:00 a.m. – CSB vs Letran (jrs)
9:30 a.m. -- CSB vs Letran (m)
11 a.m. – CSB vs Letran (w)
12:30 noon -- JRU vs SBC (w)
2:00 p.m. -- JRU vs SBC (m)
Arellano University flexed its muscles to prove that that the Lady Chiefs are dead-serious in keeping the crown.
Regine Arocha and Andrea Marzan led the Lady Chiefs’ rampage as they easily dismantled the hapless Mapua University Lady Cardinals, 25-10, 25-17, 25-13, Thursday to jumpstart their title-retention bid in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Arellano U joined last year’s runner-up San Sebastian College in the opening day winners’ list.
Arocha finished with 12 points, including nine off attacks, Marzan got nine markers while skipper Mary Anne Esguerra and Season 92 Finals Most Valuable Player Jovielyn Prado combined for 15 markers for the Lady Chiefs, who rained down 46 attack points.
Sarah Verutiao had a supoerb outing as setter for the Lady Chiefs as she tallied 28 excellent sets with six points filling in for veteran playmaker Rhea Ramirez, who didn't see action to rest a sore shoulder.
The Legarda-based squad earned their 13th straight win since closing last season with a 12-game winning run including a shocking sweep of thrice-to-beat Lady Stags in Season 92 Finals.
"Siguro nakuha namin sa practice kumbaga mayroon kasi kaming tina-target eh. Pero sabi ko nga sa mga players ko na one game at a time muna. Pero sinabi ko nga sa mga players ko one game at a time lang muna," said Arellano U coach Obet Javier. "Pinilit namin na maging maganda ang resulta sa game namin sa Mapua para makita namin ang resulta ng practice."
The Lady Chiefs heated up early and kept their momentum going to steamroll their way to an easy win.
Mapua did show signs of resistance in the second set as they took a 13-12 lead only to see it evaporate with Arellano U answering with a barrage of hits to put an 18-13 gap.
The Lady Cardinals behind skipper Katrina Racelis’ effort tried to close the gap, 18-16, but were turned back by Arellano U’s 7-1 blitz to seal the frame.
It was all Lady Chiefs in the third set as they handed Mapua its 10th straight defeat since last year.
Dianne Latayan led the Lady Cardinals with six points while Patria Pena and Racelis scored five and four, respectively.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles