NCAA Season 94 volleyball: Arellano U passes acid test, downs gritty CSB in five

Mark Escarlote on Nov 27, 2018 04:53 PM
NCAA Season 94 volleyball: Arellano U passes acid test
Defending two-time champion Arellano University survived a five-set thriller against College of St. Benilde for a 2-0 win-loss record.

Reigning titlist Arellano University displayed the true heart of a champion after clawing its way back from three points down in the fifth set to overcome gritty College of St. Benilde in a cardiac game, 25-17, 20-25, 25-18, 18-25, 16-14, Tuesday in the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

Down, 9-12, in the deciding frame, the three-peat-seeking Lady Chiefs took advantage of the young but very hungry Lady Blazers’ late game miscues to salvage their second straight victory for a 2-0 win-loss record tie with San Beda University.

“Kumbaga sinuwerte kami sa huli, kumbaga nandoon na nasa Benilde na. Siguro itong mga panahon na ito ibinigay talaga sa amin ng nasa itaas,” said Arellano U coach Obet Javier, whose squad exacted revenge against the only team that defeated the Lady Chiefs last year. “Nalagpasan namin si Benilde ngayon pero di kami doon titigil kasi lahat ng teams naman ngayon contender.”        

Last year’s rookie of the year Necole Ebuen led the way for Arellano after scoring 22 points, 19 coming off kills, including five in the fifth set that gave the Lady Chiefs a 7-4 lead.

Princess Bello had 18 markers with all but one coming off attacks while Regine Arocha had 14 points for Arellano U.

The Lady Chiefs went up, 5-1, to open the deciding frame before CSB made a telling 8-2 rally to take a 9-7 advantage. Arocha stopped the bleeding for Arellano U followed by an error by new CSB setter Jewel Lai that tied the frame at 9.

The Lady Blazers answered with three straight points for a 12-9 lead. Arellano U regained the lead with four straight points capped by Bello’s back-to-back hits for a 13-12 advantage.

The Lady Chiefs moved at match point before Klarissa Abriam forced a deuce.

Under tremendous pressure, Maritess Pablo sent her serve long before Abriam hammered an attack out in the last of CSB’s 39 errors as Arellano U got the breaks of the game to walk away unscathed.      

Pablo finished with 14 points while Abriam had 13 for the Lady Blazers. Lai, a transferee from University of the Philippines, debuted with 24 excellent sets.

Meanwhile, the Blazers debuted with a cakewalk, 25-20, 25-16, 25-16, win over last year's runner-up Chiefs in men's play.

Ruvince Abrot led CSB with 19 points as the Blazers sent Arellano down to 1-1 card.



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