The Cinderella run continues for the Lady Bombers
The Jose Rizal University clinched at least a playoff for a Final Four slot, as they overcame the Lyceum of the Philippines University Lady Pirates, 25-13, 23-25, 25-11, 25-12, Tuesday morning at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The win gives JRU the opportunity to clinch their first semifinals appearance since the program’s return in 2008.
Team captain Shola Alvarez put up MVP numbers with 23 points along with nine digs and six excellent receptions. Fellow outside hitter and rookie Dolly Versoza registered 15 points, while last year’s Best Opposite Hitter Karen Montojo finished at 12 markers.
The JRU open hitters led the charge from the service area, blasting the Pirates’ porous reception with eight of the team’s 13 total aces.
In the fourth set, the Bombers had to crawl back from a 5-11 deficit and drove in a 15-0 run to ultimately walk away with the win. And in the midst of this run, Alvarez had a constant reminder. “Sabi ko lang po, ‘Huwag nating hayaang maulit ‘yung nangyari nung second set.’ ‘Yung nangyari po nung second set, parang nagpabaya po kami,” she shared.
This response from the yellow-shirts was a pleasant sight for head coach Mia Tioseco.
She said, “Ewan ko, sari-saring emotions na rin since bago nga ‘yung team sa ganito. Buti na-compose nila ‘yung sarili nila hanggang matapos ‘yung fourth set.”
At 6-3, the Lady Bombers could go as high as third place depending on the result of the ongoing battle between the University of Perpetual Help and the College of Saint Benilde.
A Saint Benilde win in three or four sets puts JRU on third spot and a sure place in the semis. Otherwise, an Altas win sends them to an assured fourth place. A five-setter Blazers win takes them to the tiebreak criteria to determine the third place and the playoff teams for the fourth slot.
Three spikers finished in double digits for the Pirates, with Christine Miralles and Monica Sevilla both picking up 11 points. Captain Bien Juanillo added 10 markers.
JRU 3 – Alvarez 23, Verzosa 15, Montojo 12, Ebuenga 7, Rivera 2, Bodiongan 1, Macaraya L.
LPU 1 – Miralles 11, Sevilla 11, Juanillo 10, Patio 6, Bongabong 2, Genova 2, Romanban L, Marcella L.