Arellano U moves closer to back-to-back titles

Arellano U moves closer to back-to-back titles
Repeat-seeking Arellano University escaped with a five-set Finals Game 1 win over San Beda University.

Defending champion Arellano University went through the wringer before eking out a thrilling 25-15, 25-16, 15-25, 22-25, 15-6, win over upset-conscious San Beda University in Game 1 of the best-of-three 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball competition Finals series Friday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

The Lady Chiefs woke up just in time after squandering a two-set lead, blasting a 9-0 run to break a 6-6 deadlock in the fifth set capped by a heady drop by Sarah Verutiao towards an unmarked spot in the Lady Spikers’ front row for the win.

Regine Arocha finished with 14 points with 10 coming off kills including the hit that pushed the Lady Chiefs at match point. Jovielyn Prado had an all-around game with 13 markers and a good defensive effort of 13 digs and eight excellent receptions for Arellano U, which closed in on claiming its third title in the last four years.

Andrea Marzan had 11 points while Rookie of the Year Necole Ebuen and skipper Mary Anne Esguerra chipped in with 10 markers each for the Lady Chiefs.     

Game 2 is on Monday.

Arellano U head coach Obet Javier was far from satisfied with his team’s performance in a game that they should’ve had dominated considering their championship experience.

“Sa nakita ko nag-relax ang mga players ko. Start pa lang ng third set di na maganda ang ginalawa nila,” he said. “Di pa rin natatanggal ang sakit ng Arellano na pag lamang ng dalawang sets nagre-relax.”

After struggling to get its rhythm going in the first two sets, San Beda breathed new life in their rematch against the same squad that swept them in the elims in the third. The Lady Red Spikers controlled the frame to extend the match.

San Beda forced a decider after Season 92 Rookie of the Year Cesca Racraquin sparked the Lady Spikers’ 3-point blitz to break a 21-21 tie in the fourth frame off a service ace. Nieza Viray committed an error on the next play before San Beda put the match into a sudden death.

Arellano U head coach Obet Javier was far from satisfied with his team’s performance in a game that they should’ve had dominated considering their championship experience.

“Sinabi ko sa kanila kanina na, “Ano ba talaga gusto niyo mangyari? Pag gusto niyo manalo, gawan niyo ng paraan.” Kailangan kong ipakita sa kanila na di ko na gusto ‘yung situation pero sanay na sila sa ganung scenario,” Javier said.

Racraquin got 21 points on 16 attacks, four aces and a kill block while adding 23 excellent receptions and 21 digs for the Mendiola-based squad, who are on its first finals appearance. 

Viray and Trisha Paras registered 14 and 11 markers, respectively, for the Lady Red Spikers. 

 

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