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AU

Lady Chiefs stamp class against Lady Knights, extend streak to 15

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The reigning NCAA Women’s Volleyball champion Arellano University has yet to drop a set

It was another dominant sweep for the Lady Chiefs after they clobbered the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Lady Knights, 25-17, 25-17, 25-12, Friday early afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Usual suspects Necole Ebuen and Regine Arocha combined for 22 points to pace the defending champions. Ebuen, a rookie, had three blocks, while senior Arocha registered seven attacks.

Arellano, however, finished with 20 errors, mostly in the tail end of the sets to keep the Lady Knights afloat. Nonetheless, the huge 39-18 advantage on attacks more than made up for it.

With its record, Chiefs’ head coach Obet Javier still made it clear that the squad is not taking its chances. “Basta kami, one game at a time. Kung sino yung kalaban namin, yun and paghahandaan namin.”

Thus, the titleholders (3-0) will try to extend its 15-match winning streak when they battle the 1-1 Jose Rizal University on Tuesday.

Glayssa Torres ended with seven markers to lead Letran, who at 1-2 will face the Lyceum of the Philippines (0-2) on Thursday.

The Scores:

AU 3 – Ebuen 11, Arocha 11, Esguerra 8, Prado 7, Verutiao 5, Balanoba 4, Marzan 2, Donato 2, Torres 2, Ramirez 0, Liu 0, Bello 0, Flores L, Buemia L.

CSJL 0 – Torres 7, Parin 6, Simborio 4, Barrinuevo 3, Abitan 2, Urriza 2, Bangcola 1, Mendoza 1, Larioque L.

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AU

Jake Vicen performs under pressure as Blazers end eight-year title drought

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For the second straight match, the championship showdown between the College of Saint Benilde Blazers and the Arellano University Chiefs reached a showdown from the penalty spot. And once more, goalkeeper Jake Vicen came up big.

The third-year custodian denied one of Arellano’s prolific scorers, Roberto Corsame, in the shootout and sealed the title after eight long years, 3-2, penalties, Wednesday evening at the historic Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The Blazers made their intentions clear from the get-go, as they repeatedly pierced through the defense of the Chiefs.

Nonetheless, in the 38th minute, the white-shirts clinched the goal they deserved. The Blazers pushed forward, and almost got a call in their favor. The referees, however, played advantage, and fortunately Benilde held on to the play.

Miguel Artillera found himself unmarked on the right flank and easily blasted the ball past opposing keeper Jericho Desalisa.

The Marlon Maro-mentored side continued to play aggressively in the following period, and almost plucked a second goal. This time, however, the Chiefs’ backline — led by eventual Best Defender Patrick Bernarte — held on.

Such a stand was rewarded by their attacking force minutes later, and, as expected, the equalizer came from the counterattack.

Corsame received a pass from the middle and defeated two defenders, and seeing Vicen off his line, sent the ball into the onion bag in the 49th minute.

Both sides tried to break the deadlock, but fatigue slowly crept up in the dying minutes of the second period and the whole of extra time, setting up another thrilling finish in the shootout.

Much like in Game 2, the two keepers came up big, as Desalisa and Vicen denied their second kickers a clear shot. Arellano went on to miss another shot, and it was then up to the Blazers to seal the deal.

Dean Ebarle stepped up and calmly slotted the ball into the goal for the lead at 3-2. Afterwards, Corsame faced Vicen, but this time, the Cebuano keeper would not be denied. The latter went to his strong side, and, fortunately, guessed right for the huge save, as pandemonium erupted from the Benilde crowd and squad.

The Finals series hero and season Best Goalkeeper Vicen was pleased that the new champions had carved out the historic win despite early adversity. “Big loss ‘yun, si Val [Calvo], kasi may magagawa talaga siya kung nakalaro namin,” he said of losing their former captain.

Nonetheless, the squad stayed focused on getting it done this year.

“Binuhos lang namin every minute sa training. Luckily, hard work paid off,” declared Vicen.

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AU

Undefeated Arellano halts JRU’s winning streak

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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.

The Scores

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)

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Chiefs remain unscathed, rally past Heavy Bombers

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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.

The Scores

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)

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Jake Vicen saves Saint Benilde’s season, forces winner-take-all

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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.

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