Reigning NCAA champion Arellano University Lady Chiefs survived a second set letdown against the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons to book a 25-23, 27-29, 25-23, 25-22 victory in the Shakeys V-League Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Arena, Saturday afternoon.
The Lady Chiefs relied on Christine Rosario, Dana Henson and Menchie Tubiera to escape the feisty Lady Maroons in the first set as both teams battled back and forth throughout to give the Lady Chiefs a hard time to escape their UAAP opponent.
With a 15-12 deficit in the second set, the Lady Chiefs chased down the Lady Maroons, with guest player Carmina Aganon, Shirley Salamagos and Henson conspiring to tie the score at 15 all. Tubiera scored to give Arellano a 16-15 lead heading to the second technical timeout as both teams exchanged attack and block points all through out the set. Henson blocked UP’s Diana Carlos to give Arellano its first set point at 24-23 but a net touch violation called on the Lady Chiefs awarded a point to the Lady Maroons at 24-all. Rosario once again put the Lady Chiefs at set point for the second time with a kill for 25-24 lead, but Marian Buitre answered back with a quick hit to settle the score at 25 all. Aganon tried to get the second set for Arellano with a cross court shot for a 26-25 advantage but Carlos fired back to tie things again at 26. Tubiera scored off the block to handle Arellano their fourth set point at 27-26. Still the Lady Maroons had gas left in the tank as Isa Molde and Maristella Layug joined forces to give UP its first set point advantage at 28-27, and a Tubiera attack error rewarded the hard-fought second set to the Diliman-based squad.
Tubiera and Henson led the charge of the Lady Chiefs in the third set to remain at pace with the Lady Maroons as they exchanged attack and block points once again.With the score tied at 22 all, Arellano blitzed to a 3-0 run to end the set as Rosario unleashed a quick attack, Salamagos blocked Molde, and Aganon finished the set with a quick attack.
Arellano went on an attacking spree to establish a 8-2 lead in the first technical timeout of the fourth set. However, Buitre, Dorog and Carlos combined forces to put Lady Maroons back in the set, with Carlos blocking Arellano’s guest player Lilet Mabbayad to tie the score at 13 all. Errors from Dorog and the brilliant play of Tubiera led the Chiefs to take the driver’s seat at 16-15. From there, the Lady Maroons tried and failed to play catch up against the Lady Chiefs.
After the game, Lady Chiefs Roberto Javier said they really prepared against the Lady Maroons, a team composed of young but talented players.
“Napakagaling ng UP kahit mga bata sila, kaya pinaghandaan namin ang game. Ni-review ang lahat ng games nila, kahit nag relax sila [Lady Chiefs] nilaro pa rin nila ang gusto ko para sa kanila.” Javier said
Tubiera fired 21 points to lead the Lady Chiefs while Henson and Aganon chipped 18 and 11 points apiece.
Dorog finished with 19 points, 17 coming from attacks and two blocks for the Lady Maroons, with Molde, Carlos contributed 18 and 13 markers apiece.
The Lady Chiefs finished the elimination round with 4-1 win loss record tied with the FEU Lady Tamaraws and NU Lady Bulldogs, while the Lady Maroons hold a 3-2 win-loss card in the Group A standings heading to the quarterfinals.
AU (3)– Tubiera 21, Henson 18, Aganon 11, Rosario 9, Salamagos 5, Ramirez 2, Legacion 1, Sagun 0, Prado 0, Carino 0, Mabbayad 0, Galang(L)
UP (1)– Dorog 19, Molde 18, Carlos 13, Buitre 11, Layug 4, Lai 2, Ong 1, Alinas 0, Cailing 0, Basatre 0, Ilustre 0, Estranero (L), Gaiser (L)
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