Lady Bulldogs, Lady Chiefs out to draw first blood in semis series
National University collides with Arellano University in Game 1 of the best-of-three PVL Collegiate Conference semifinals.
National University coach Babes Castillo hopes that the Lady Bulldogs will sustain the momentum of their unbeaten run in the elimination round as they brace for a tough grind against Arellano University in the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference best-of-three semifinals series opener Wednesday.
Action begins at 4:00 p.m. at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan and air via livestream. Replay is at 8:00 p.m. on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23 and ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166.
The mentor sees the series against the reigning NCAA champion Lady Chiefs as a huge test for his team, which is still adapting to his system.
“Wala pa akong idea sa Arellano but they’re a champion team sa NCAA,” he said. "So either way, it will help us better our system.”
NU swept the five-game elimination round to claim the top seed in Group A but not after the Lady Bulldogs hurdled a gritty Ateneo de Manila University side, 25-21, 13-25, 25-19, 25-22, last Saturday.
“We need more of this kind of competition, 'yung medyo (pahihirapan kami) kasi doon mo talaga malalaman eh what have they gained,” said Castillo of their win against Ateneo which he considers as a good morale-booster heading into the semis.
Castillo will bank on his tried and teste arsenal of veterans in 6-foot-5 Jaja Santiago, Jorelle Sing, Aiko Urdas, Risa Sato and playmaker Jasmine Nabot.
But Arellano is no pushover.
The Lady Chiefs ended the elims with 4-1 win-loss record as Group B’s second seed behind undefeated Adamson University.
“Panibagong challenge na naman ito. Kami naman kapag may dumating na hamon, laban lang ng laban,” said Arellano coach Obet Javier, who will rely on top hitter Jovielyn Prado, Regine Arocha, Andrea Marzan and statistics-leading setter Rhea Ramirez.
Javier stressed the things they need to prepare for to give NU a run for its money.
“Receive saka ‘yung block talaga plus dagdag lang kami ng konting service,” he said.
Game 2 is on Saturday and if needed, Game 3 is on Monday.
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