Lady Chiefs, Lady Blazers duel for last championship spot
Mark Escarlote on Jan 14, 2016 07:01 PM
Expect an all-out war when College of St. Benilde and Arellano University collide for the right to face thrice-to-beat San Sebastian College in the championship round.
Defending champion Arellano University and College of St. Benilde collide in a knockout stepladder semifinal duel Friday at The Arena in San Juan for the right to play thrice-to-beat San Sebastian College in the 91st NCAA women’s volleyball championship round.
Opening serve of the no-tomorrow match is set at 4:00 p.m. and will air live on ABS-CBN Sports+Action Channel 23 and ABS-CBN Sports+Action HD Channel 166 and via livestream at sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/ncaa.
The Lady Blazers turned back the Perpetual Help Lady Altas, 16-25, 25-19, 25-11, 25-21, in the first stepladder semis pairing Tuesday to live for another day.
But CSB will be tested once again as they take in the Lady Chiefs, who are riding the crest of their four game winning streak.
Arellano escaped with a tightly-fought 25-20, 22-25, 28-30, 25-18, 19-17, victory last week against the Lady Blazers to lock the no. 2 spot for a bye at the start of the stepladder semis.
“Siguro ang isang significance nito ay ‘yung psychological (advantage) pero hindi kami puwedeng magpabaya o hindi namin sabihing ganoon lang e. Siyempre ang Benilde natalo namin so isang bagay lang ang gagawin niyan – pipilitin niyan na bawin kami,” said AU coach Obet Javier.
The Lady Chiefs tactician will again bank on Jovielyn Prado and Danna Henson, who scored 23 and 20 points, respectively, the last time out, to carry the fight while middle hitters CJ Rosario and Shirley Salamagos need to step up bigtime after a quiet performance against the same opponent at the end of the elim.
Though coming off a two-game losing slump to close the elims, CSB managed to regroup and pull off an upset against Perpetual.
The Lady Blazers plan to do the same to Arellano.
“Defending champion ‘yun e so mahirap talaga silang kalaban. Siyempre hindi basta-basta magbibigay ng panalo ‘yun. Mahihirapan talaga kami sa kanila pero ready kami,” said CSB mentor Macky Carino. “Ako nabasa ko na yan na kung mananalo kami sa Perpetual (sa simula ng stepladder) mataas ang morale namin pagdating ng Friday kasi galing kami sa panalo.”
‘Yung game namin sa kanila sa na five sets (sa eliminations) parang breaks of the game lang yun e. So this time we have to make sure na talagang ‘yung gagalawin naming dapat sigurado,” he added.
Janine Navarro and Jeanette Panaga with Ranya Musa, who led the Lady Blazers with 15 points against the Lady Altas, are expected to once again spearhead the Lady Blazer’s attempt to return to the Finals for the first time since Season 85 when the Taft-based volleybelles bowed down to SSC-R.
Waiting for the survivor between CSB and AU are the Lady Stags, who stepped outright to the finals after sweeping the 9-game elims capped by a four-set victory over the Lady Blazers last Sunday that earned SSC-R a thrice-to-beat advantage.
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