Lady Chiefs in final preparation for NCAA title defense
ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 08, 2017 02:08 PM
Even with six newcomers on the team, the Lady Chiefs still look so good that they are already looking forward to capably defending their NCAA crown. Coach Obet Javier (extreme left, back row), basing his assessment on what he has been seeing in the PVL Collegiate Conference so far, considers San Beda, College of St. Benilde, and Lyceum their worthiest challengers in their upcoming title defense.
"Lalaban ulit kami,” declares Arellano University coach Obet Javier.
He isn’t referring to the ongoing Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference where the Lady Chiefs are unbeaten in two outings, but of the next NCAA volleyball season where Arellano is the defending champion and gunning for its third title.
Coach Javier delights at the way the Lady Chiefs won their first two PVL matches. In straight sets first against College of St. Benilde, 25-20, 25-22, 25-17, and San Beda College the next, 25-22, 25-21, 25-18.
In victory he lavished praises on the Ceska Racraquin-led Lady Red Lionesses. “Sobrang laki ang in-improve ng San Beda. Mahirap nang kalaban ito.”
The perfectionist that he is, coach Javier says his team still has a lot of flaws where others hardly see one.
“May problema pa ang team sa conditioning, sa blocking at sa service,” he notes, adding that the problems can be easily fixed by no-nonsense training. “Makukuha sa training, sa sipag at tiyaga.”
Though only eight are carryovers from his champion team last NCAA season, coach Javier is greatly heartened by the maturity and high level of confidence the veterans are marking their game with particularly team captain Jovielyn Prado and Regine Arocha, both open spikers, and middle attackers Mary Anne Esguerra and Andrea Marzan.
All four were toughened up by their exposure in the Reinforced and Open Conferences of the inaugural staging of the PVL, another ambitious collaboration among Sports Vision as organizer, Asics as official league partner, and Mikasa as official game ball.
Amazing is how the coach describes the improvement Arocha, only on her second year in the upcoming NCAA, is showing.
After contributing nine points to the Arellano production led by Prado’s 14 against the Lady Blazers, Arocha scintillated with 16 points against the Red Lionesses.
Both Prado and Rocha said their PVL experience has steeled their nerves when they are at play.
The six rookies in the Arellano lineup are Princess Bello of Davao, Ma. Meredith Balanoba of Batanes, former Tigress Sara Princess Verutiao of Quezon City, Glydel Ann Buemia also of QC, Cherry Ann Buemia of Manila, and Carla Amaina Donato also of Batanes.
Completing the Lady Chiefs lineup are Rhea Marist Ramirez, Faye Anne Marie Flores, Nicole Ebuen, and Eunika Mae Torres.
With Javier in the coaching staff are assistant coach Richard Estacio, trainer Fritz Michael Santos, and trainer/therapist Orlando Ortega.