Parang binigay na po nila sa amin (ang championship) -- Arocha on San Beda's meltdown in the third set
Mark Escarlote on Feb 19, 2018 08:21 PM
Even before the third set started, Arellano University hitter Regine Arocha already knew that the Lady Chiefs will annex their second straight title.
After stealing the second set in a dramatic come-from-behind fashion, Arellano University hitter Regine Arocha knew the title was already theirs for the taking.
The Lady Chiefs smelled blood when they went on the first technical timeout of the third set with a comfortable cushion and with the first-time finalists San Beda University Lady Red Spikers scoreless and in disarray.
It didn’t take long for Arellano U to complete a cold-blooded 25-13, 29-27, 25-15, sweep of San Beda in Game 2 of the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball Finals as the Lady Chiefs captured their first back-to-back titles Monday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
An 8-0 lead to open the third frame and with the Lady Red Spikers’ body language already showing signs of defeat for Arocha, the season’s Best Opposite Hitter, seemed like San Beda’s signal of raising the white flag.
“Opo, parang binigay na po nila sa amin, parang umayaw na po sila,” said Arocha, who broke the hearts of the Lady Red Spikers when she hit consecutive crosscourt hits to complete Arellano U’s comeback in the second frame.
“Parang first five points pa lang po (sa third set), nararamdaman na po namin na sa amin na po (ang panalo),” added Arocha, who scored 14 of her 15 points off attacks and was later named as Finals Most Valuable Player.
Arellano U took the fight out of San Beda in the second set after saving four set points.
Arocha took advantage of the Lady Red Spikers’ error from the service line that tied the set at 27, pounding a crosscourt attack off the two-woman block of San Beda to put Arellano U at set point advantage, 28-27. She ended the comeback with another kill.
San Beda never recovered from there and the Lady Chiefs grabbed the opportunity to extinguish the Lady Red Spikers’ will to fight as they built an 8-0 advantage that ballooned to 24-10. The Mendiola-based squad saved five match points but the championship was already in the bag for Arellano U that Lady Chiefs head coach Obet Javier didn’t even bother to call time.
Outgoing team captain Mary Anne Esguerra took the honor of burying the final nail to San Beda’s coffin with a swipe off the Lady Red Spikers’ two-woman block.
The win also validated a tweet posted by Arocha on her Twitter account that last Sunday’s practice was Arellano U’s last for the season.
“Kahapon po, sobrang kinlaim na namin na last training na namin yun, na last game na namin ngayon,” she said. “Kaya po 'yun, pinagtrabahuhan talaga namin.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles