After lending the crown last year, the Arellano University Chiefsquad brought the house down with a flawlessly executed routine to reclaim the NCAA Season 92 Cheerleading Competition championship, Thursday afternoon at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The Legarda-based squad had narrowly missed on a second straight title, after the then eight-time champions University of Perpetual Help Altas Perps Squad pulled it off with a measly two-point advantage.
“Actually sa lahat ng performance namin, ito yung pinaka-special,” head coach Lucky San Juan shared. “Kailangan makita ng mga tao na nag-e-enjoy sila every time nagpeperform sila.”
The mentor admitted that he had told his players not to watch the other routines, but instead focus on their own. “Yung mga player ko tinatago ko sa dugout para hindi kabahan. Sabi ko, na huwag isipin yung kalaban, isipin lang yung performance nila.”
Arellano took the top spot after scoring 218 points. The now two-time champions relied on their gravity-defying tosses and pyramids to put up their score.
Such near-perfect execution stemmed from San Juan’s reminder to his squad. “Kailangan nila patunayan na contender sila sa NCAA at sa Pilipinas,” he said.
The squad also increased their routine’s level of difficulty, such as the changes to their pyramids.
“Kung hindi ako nagkakamali, yung full twist to pyramid. Siguro yung double base din namin, madalas three-man base pero ginawa namin double-base,” the two-time champion mentor emphasized.
The Altas Perps Squad finished at second this time with 199.5 pts after finishing off their routine strong following a major error early in the routine.
Rufa Rosario, the Las Piñas-based team’s head coach, shared that they fully accepted the result. “Tanggap namin. We deserve the runner-up. Tanggap namin na nagkamali kami,” he said.
The first-ever champions Mapua Cheerping Cardinals returned to the elite circle after registering 191 points. The Intramuros-based squad got their points mostly on their pyramids.
The San Beda College Red Corps went a place higher at fourth with 175 points, as the Emilio Aguinaldo College Pep Squad finished at fifth with 164.5 points.
The College of Saint Benilde Blazers Pep Squad, the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pep Squad, and the Jose Rizal University Pep Squad rounded up the order of finish.
Two schools, San Sebastian College and Colegio de San Juan de Letran, missed the competition.
Undefeated Arellano halts JRU’s winning streak
Though suffering their first set loss of the season, defending champions Arellano University Lady Chiefs still snapped the Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers’ two game winning streak and remained unbeaten in NCAA Season 93, 25-11, 22-25, 25-18, 25-16, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Coming into the game having won all their matches this season in straight sets, Arellano shockingly surrendered a loss in the second set. With his team trailing for the entire set, Arellano head coach Obet Javier knew such a setback was inevitable and it was up to his team to regain momentum.
“Maganda din talaga ang simula ng JRU noong second set tapos hindi kami agad nakabangon. Nakita din talaga doon ‘yung mga kailangan pa naming ayusin,” said Javier. “Sabi ko sa kanila na pinakita na nila ‘yung mababa nilang laro, kailangan ipakita din nila na kaya nilang maka-recover.”
The Lady Chiefs responded immediately, dumping the Lady Bombers in a 13-6 hole in the third set, then a 15-6 gap in the fourth frame to close the match convincingly.
Last season’s breakout star Regine Arocga topped the Lady Chiefs with 20 points while Season 92 Finals MVP Jovielyn Prado added 17.
The Lady Chiefs (4-0) look to continue their winning ways when they face the Lyceum of the Philippines University (1-2) on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
JRU captain Shola Alvarez continued her offensive hot-streak, grabbing 19 points. Rookie Dolly Versoza tallied 12 markers.
JRU (2-2) takes on the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (2-1) also on Sunday.
AU (3) – Arocha 20, Prado 17, Esguerra 12, Ebuen 11, Marzan 10, Ramirez 5, Bello 1, Donato 1, Verutiao 1, Balanoba 0, Buemia (L), Flores (L)
JRU (1) – Alvarez 19, Versoza 12, Montojo 10, Rivera 3, Bodiongan 3, Ebuenga 2, Bautista 0, Bondoc 0, Sibangan 0, Macaraya (L)
Chiefs remain unscathed, rally past Heavy Bombers
The Arellano University Chiefs stayed on pace for the top spot in the NCAA Season 93 Men’s Volleyball standings after outmuscling the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, 25-18, 21-25, 25-14, 25-22, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
After a second-set hiccup, the Chiefs regained composure after a reminder from head coach Sherwin Meneses.
“Sabi ko lang sa kanila na hindi puwedeng bigla na lang kami nagre-relax ng ganoon kasi importante lahat ng laban namin. Kailangan focused kami lagi,” said Meneses.
Arellano then dominated the last two sets, grabbing early leads in both and never looking back. Last season’s semifinalists outclassed their foes with steady blocking, netting 15 to JRU’s eight, and serving, delivering eight aces to the Bombers’ two.
“Sana magtuloy-tuloy lang ‘yung ganitong laro namin kasi alam din namin na pahirap ng pahirap ‘yung mga laban namin this season,” Meneses added.
Kevin Liberato torched the Bombers with 16 points built on eight attacks, seven blocks, and an ace while Christian Segovia added 11 points which includes four rejections.
Wenjo Lahaylahay led JRU with 10 points, while Herman Salazar and Raymark Francisco managed nine markers, apiece.
Arellano (3-0) stakes their perfect start on Sunday when they face the Lyceum of the Philippines University (0-2) at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The Bombers (0-4) take on the undefeated University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (3-0) also on Sunday.
AU (3) – Liberato 16, Segovia 11, Lapuz 10, Dela Paz 6, Meneses 6, Soriano 5, Cabillan 4, Liberato J. 2, Domingo 1, Arellano 0, Caccam 0, Blanco (L), Esguerra (L)
JRU (1) – Lahaylahay 10, Francisco 9, Salazar 9, Rabaja 6, Soriano 6, Cruz 2, Cebrero 1, Sulivas 1, Ferwelo 0, Defensor (L), Flor (L)
Jake Vicen saves Saint Benilde’s season, forces winner-take-all
For most of the match, College of Saint Benilde Blazers’ goalkeeper Jake Vicen was under pressure. However, that just set up his heroics in the end.
The third-year custodian came up big with two huge denials in the shootout, as the Blazers won 4-2 after the match ended at 3-3 after 120 minutes against the Arellano University Chiefs, Friday evening at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Applying the same game plan and using their speed advantage, the Chiefs pummeled the Blazers’ defense, plucking a chance at the set piece. The free kick went for naught, but the succeeding sequence turned into the go-ahead goal.
In the seventh minute, the ball bounced in front of Arellano captain Cymun Sanquilos, who blasted the ball into the top corner past the outstretched arms of Jake Vicen.
The rest of the first period was a defensive clinic from the Season 91 champions, as Saint Benilde were left scouring for opportunities to level the match. The green-shirts simply waited for that moment, as their possession improved and their attacking aggressiveness increased in the following period.
At the hour mark, Dean Ebarle received a low cross inside the penalty area, and finding himself unmarked, slotted the ball into the bag for the equalizer.
Both teams tried to break the deadlock once more, only neither team could not barge through the opposing defense in the remaining minutes of the second half and the whole of extra time.
Thus, the match has to be decided on kicks from the penalty spot.
Vicen and Jericho Desalisa denied the second kickers setting up a dramatic finish, to which the former turned his focus, “Sabi ko sa coaches, ‘Kukunin ko ‘to. Yung shoot out di naturalist hangga’t ‘di pumipito yung ref.”
Patrick Bernarte missed miserably wide as Vicen was on point, setting up long-time teammate Moiselle Alforque for the winning spot kick.
Head coach Marlon Maro was pleased on how the Blazers had responded in this game. As for the sudden-death match, he commented, “May the best team win.”
That third and deciding match is scheduled on Wednesday also at 6:00pm.
Arellano draws first blood in extra-time classic against Benilde
Big time players come up with big time plays in the biggest stage
NCAA Season 91 Most Valuable Player Jumbel Guinabang has scored twice. But no goal was as huge as his second in extra time, propelling the Arellano University Chiefs to take Game 1 of the NCAA Seaosn 93 Seniors Football Finals from the College of Saint Benilde Blazers, 3-2, Friday evening at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Right from the get-go, the action was intense, as both teams plucked two goals. Guinabang received a good long delivery and swiftly took the opening goal just three minutes from kick off. However, the lead did not last long, as Daniel Liozo equalized just seconds after for Saint Benilde.
In the 26th minute, the Chiefs once more intercepted a Benildean pass in the midfield before Charles Gamutan made a speedy run to the opponent’s goal for the second go-ahead shot past Jake Vicen.
Saint Benilde skipper Renz Tulayba might have taken four minutes to put the match back on level terms, but it was a similarly well-executed counterattack that knotted the score at two apiece.
Despite the score line, Arellano head coach Ravelo Saluria was pleased with his boys performance especially in this period expressing, “Happy ako. Sinunod nung mga bata yung game plan lalo na nung first half.”
Gambling on positional changes in the second half, the Season 91 kings almost paid for it. The Blazers pounced on opportunities to take the upper hand in the following period, with returning Dean Ebarle and semis hero Wilmer Lopes knocking on the blue-shirts’ door. However, the forwards were not able to convert these chances, as Arellano keeper Jericho Desalisa kept himself busy.
The situation continued well into the extra time before Saint Benilde almost ran away with the match winner. Carmelo Genco fired from the top of the penalty box, but Desalisa did well enough to parry the shot for a corner kick. The Blazers froze after that missed opportunity on the set piece, as an errant pass was once more picked up by the Chiefs
Defender Patrick Bernarte found himself with the ball and sped to Vicen’s goal. The wing back found Guinabang up front and the former MVP wasted no time to slot the ball into the goal for the clincher with just three minutes left in the extension.
“Nagtataka ko kung bakit maraming nag-cramps,” Saluria expressed. Nonetheless, it was the determination of the former champs that prevailed to snag the victory. “Puso lang talaga nung mga bata.”
Arellano (1-0) will shoot for their second title in three years when they clash with Benilde (0-1) again on Monday, January 15, at 6pm.
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