Arellano U, San Beda eye Finals showdown
Action in the 93rd NCAA women's volleyball competition Final Four begins Friday.
(FilOil Flying V Centre, San Juan)
9:00 a.m. –- CSB vs. Letran (jrs)
11:00 a.m. –- San Beda vs. Letran (w)
2:00 p.m. –- San Beda vs. Perpetual (m)
4:00 p.m. –- Arellano U vs. JRU (jrs)
Armed with twice-to-beat advantages, repeat-seeking Arellano University and San Beda shoot to forge a championship showdown against their respective Final Four opponents looking to force a do-or-die Friday in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball competition.
The top seed Lady Chiefs face an upstart Jose Rizal University side in their 4:00 p.m. encounter at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Playing in the women’s curtain-raiser at 2:00 p.m. are the Lady Red Spikers against University of Perpetual Help.
Both games will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA on SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD on SkyCable Channel 183 and via livestream.
Arellano U and San Beda finished the elimination round with identical 8-1 win-loss records. They both won over their semis rivals in the elims.
The Lady Chiefs are on their sixth straight semis appearance and will have the luxury of fielding a grizzled veteran core composed of Jovielyn Prado, Regine Arocha, Mary Anne Esguerra Andrea Marzan and top rookies in Necole Ebuen and setter Sarah Verutiao.
But the Lady Bombers, who are making their first semis stint since the return of its volleyball program in 2008, are very hungry for glory. Led by tournament leading scorer Shola Alvarez, who is averaging 21.3 points per game, Dolly Versoza and Season 92 Best Opposite Spiker Karen Montojo, JRU sets its sight on making a huge upset.
“Nandito na tayo we should might as well play our best and see kung saan tayo pupunta,” said JRU coach Mia Tioseco.
Arellano U defeated JRU, who closed the elims with a 6-3 card, in four sets in their elims meeting last January 16.
Season 92 Rookie of the Year Cesca Racraquin on the other hand, will try to rally San Beda to its first Finals appearance in a long time.
Backstopping Racraquin are the Viray twins Nieza and Jiezela, Satrianni Espiritu and setter Rebecca Cuevas.
They will go up against the Lady Altas, who last held the title in Season 89 in the last of their three-peat, making a return in the Final Four after missing the cut last year.
Perpetual has an equally solid line up bannered by Lourdes Clemente, Bianca Tripoli, Cindy Imbo and Jowie Albert Versoza, all raring to avenge a straight sets defeat to San Beda in the elims.
Meanwhile, defending champion College of St. Benilde and San Beda faceoff in the first phase of the men’s stepladder semifinals at 11:00 a.m.
The survivor of the match will face Arellano U in another knockout match to determine the team that take on the unbeaten Altas in the best-of-three Finals.
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