Junior Altas gun for semis twice-to-beat advantage

ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 28, 2016 04:06 PM
Junior Altas gun for semis twice-to-beat advantage
Reigning champion Perpetual Help seeks to secure a semis twice-to-beat advantage in the 92nd NCAA juniors volleyball competition.

Defending juniors champion Perpetual Help is eyeing nothing less than a twice-to-beat advantage when it resumes its campaign in the continuation of the 92nd NCAA volleyball tournament in January next year at The Arena in San Juan.

The Junior Altas are currently tied with the Arellano U Braves at second on 3-1 (win-loss) records and should go all out when they tackle the San Sebastian Staglets on Jan. 11, Lyceum of the Philippines University Junior Pirates on Jan. 13, Jose Rizal Light Bombers on Jan. 20 and the Braves on Jan. 25.

All the Las Pinas-based spikers need to achieve it is to finish in the top two after the single-round elimination.

Perpetual Help coach Sandy Rieta said they used the holiday break to train and prepare for their last four games.

"We spent the Christmas break to practice because we're determined to finish in the top two at least," said Rieta in Filipino.

The Junior Altas are seeking a third straight championship and ninth overall, which is second only to the Staglets' 15 crowns but hit a snag early in the season when they absorbed a heartbreaking 23-25, 25-19, 25-23, 21-25, 15-17, to the Emilio Aguinaldo Brigadiers on Nov. 29 for the former's only loss thus far.

Interestingly, EAC, the runner-up the last two seasons, is unbeaten in five outings and an elimination round sweep would propel it straight to the best-of-three finals while reducing the Final Four to a stepladder semifinals.

If it happens, the No. 2 team after the elims still gets the twice-to-beat advantage, which is what Perpetual Help is now striving for.

"Whatever happens, placing second will ensure us a twice-to-beat advantage. That's our goal for now," said Rieta.


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