Arellano University welcomed the return of head coach Obet Javier with a ticket to the best-of-three semifinals on Saturday in Group B of the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Lady Chiefs had more fuel left in their tank heading into the deciding set after an extended fourth frame to outlast University of the Philippines, 22-25, 25-10, 25-19, 32-34, 15-3, and closed the elimination round with a 4-1 win-loss record.
Arellano U joined their elims tormentor Adamson University in the Final Four and will await which team in Group A it will take on in the semis.
“After ng game namin sa Adamson malaki ng in-adjust naming kasi ang laki talaga ng kakulangan namin. Napakaganda na mahaba ang preparation namin before sa UP,” said Javier, who skipped the Lady Chiefs’ easy win against Technological Institute of the Philippines last Sept. 18 to undergo an operation to remove his gallstones.
Jovielyn Prado scored 26 points, 23 coming off kills, and added 17 excellent receptions for an all-around performance for Arellano U.
Regine Arocha added 25 points including the semis spot-clinching dink after a misreceive by UP. Necole Ebuen had 15 points while Andrea Marzan finishes with 10 for the Lady Chiefs.
After dropping a grueling fourth frame battle against the Lady Maroons, the reigning NCAA champion turned the fifth set into a blowout as the Lady Chiefs opened with a 5-0 lead that ballooned to 12-2 before eventually finishing off the demoralized Diliman-based squad, who lost hitter Justine Dorog to a left knee injury in late in the fourth set.
“Siguro sabihin natin na fatigue factor ang nangyari sa UP,” Javier said. “Maganda lang rin siguro ang preparation namin this week sa ensayo so lahat ng practice namin nagbunga.”
Diana Carlos scored 29 points and Isa Molde had 20 as the Lady Maroons ended their campaign with a 3-2 slate.
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