NCAA Season 94 volleyball: Lady Chiefs punch third straight Finals ticket
Mark Escarlote on Jan 22, 2019 04:17 PM
Arellano University marched to its third straight championship appearance.
Grand slam-seeking Arellano University secured the first championship seat after an emphatic sweep of San Beda University, 25-18, 25-21, 25-23, Tuesday in the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball Final Four at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Regine Arocha powered the Lady Chiefs’s comeback from a five-point deficit in the third set to advance into the Finals for the third straight year and fourth in the last five seasons.
Arocha starred for Arellano U with 17 points with 13 coming off attacks while Alyana San Gregorio, Necole Ebuen and Carla Donato scored 11 markers each. Donato and setter Rhea Ramirez frustrated the Lady Red Spikers at the net with a combined seven of the Lady Chiefs' 11 kill blocks.
Down 15-20 in the frame, Arocha sparked Arellano U’s 6-0 fight back to take a 21-20 lead. San Beda countered to take a 23-22 lead off Sattriani Espiritu’s quick attack.
Arocha answered with an off the block kill followed by a crosscourt hit by San Gregorio before sophomore Ebuen sealed the win with an off speed attack to boot out last year’s runner-up and the same team that denied Arellano U an outright Finals berth last week at the end of the elimination round.
"'Yung last game namin sa Beda talagang nagulat din kami kumabaga. After ng game namin nagkaroon talaga kami ng adjustment. Kung napansin n'yo nawala 'yung isang spiker namin (Princess Bello) so 'yun nga buti na lang naging maganda ang ginawa ng bago na si San Gregorio pero kumbaga talagang pinagpaguran namin ito sa practice. Almost one week ang preparation namin para makabawi," said Arellano U coach Obet Javier, whose squad will take on the survivor between College of St. Benilde and University of Perpetual Help in the best-of-three Finals starting February 1.
Nieza Viray finished with 17 points while Cesca Racraquin got 11 to lead the Mendiola-based squad.
The Lady Chiefs erased a 15-19 deficit in the second frame with a 5-1 scoring spurt to take the helm, 21-20. San Beda tied it at 21 before Arocha sparked a closing 4-0 barrage she capped with a hit to seal the frame.
Arellano U started the match slow but recovered their bearing just in time to capture the opening set.
Meanwhile, fourth seed Emilio Aguinaldo College survived the first stage of the men’s stepladder semifinals after outlasting last year’s runner-up Arellano U, 24-26, 8-25, 25-20, 25-18, 21-19.
Joshua Ramilo pounded 21 attacks in his 23-point explosion while Joshua Mina had 20 markers for the Generals, who will take on College of St. Benilde in another knockout match on Tuesday for the right to face outright finalist defending champion University of Perpetual Help.
Aeron Daduya and Ralph Pitogo posted 10 points each for EAC.
Vincent Tan and Christian Segovia finished with 17 and 15 points, respectively, for the Chiefs.
In the juniors’ division, Letran crushed EAC, 29-27, 25-16, 19-25, 25-21, to advance in the second phase of the knockout stepladder semis.
The Squires will face Lyceum of the Philippines University on Tuesday. Already waiting in the best-of-three Finals is defending champion Perpetual.
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