NCAA Season 94 volleyball: Lady Chiefs begin three-peat bid
Mark Escarlote on Feb 01, 2019 08:17 AM
Two-time champion Arellano University begins its title defense against dangerous University of Perpetual Help on Friday.
Well-rested reigning champion Arellano University marches into battle Friday to begin its three-peat bid against a very hungry University of Perpetual Help side in Game 1 of the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball Finals at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Explosive action of the best-of-three series opener will roll at 4:00 p.m. and will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183 and via livestream.
The Lady Chiefs advanced to their third straight championship appearance after making quick work of last year’s runner-up San Beda University last January 22 in the Final Four.
Arellano U will try to overcome the challenge of the Lady Altas, who are making their first Finals stint since winning it all back in Season 89, to cement their dynasty and join San Sebastian College, Perpetual and Letran in the elite grand slam club.
“Kailangan talaga naming magtrabaho. Kailangan talagang mag-focus ng team ko at ibigay na nila ang 100 percent nila,” said Arellano U head coach Obet Javier, who is looking to steer his squad to its fourth title in five years.
Javier will pin his hopes on his top hitters in Necole Ebuen and veteran Regine Arocha with Carla Donato, Alyana San Gregorio, Princess Bello and seasoned setter Rhea Ramirez providing support.
However, the Lady Chiefs, who defeated Perpetual in the elims, are sure to face stiff resistance from the Lady Altas.
Perpetual is coming into the series brimming with confidence after a remarkable Final Four series where the no. 4 seed Lady Altas overcame College of St. Benilde’s twice-to-beat advantage.
Behind the personal and season-best 32 points of Cindy Imbo, the Lady Altas completed their upset of top seed Lady Blazers in a thrilling five-set encounter.
“Hindi pa tapos, umabot na kami ng Finals. Mas lalo naming kakapitan, mas lalo naming titibayan kasi Finals na 'yun eh,” Perpetual coach Macky Carino, who steered CSB to its breakthrough title in Season 91 before transferring last year. “Ang hirap ng pinagdaanan namin. Kami praktisado kami, 'yung kalaban namin nagpahinga ng matagal so advantage on our side.”
Aside from Imbo, the Lady Altas will also lean on Jhona Rosal, Jenny Gaviola, Jowie Albert Versoza, setter Necelle Gual, Bianca Tripoli and Shyra Umandal.
Game 2 of the series is on Februray 8 while Game 3, if needed, is on February 12.
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