The Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers kept their semifinals bid alive after surviving the challenge of the upset-conscious Mapua University Lady Cardinals, 25-23, 25-18, 20-25, 25-22, Sunday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
With captain Shola Alvarez checked, Dolly Verzosa led the Mandaluyong-based squad with 21 points off 19 attacks. Alvarez registered 15 markers, 13 of them on spikes.
The Lady Bombers took the initiative in all of the sets, but aggressiveness kept the Lady Cardinals in the fight.
In the end, Mapua edged out JRU, 45-43 on spikes. Nonetheless, the latter took advantage of the former’s reception problems, as they had a 12-8 edge on aces.
With the game in danger of being sent to a decider, it was still Alvarez who saved the day with back-to-back hits, sealing their fourth win of the year.
The game was a wake up call for the Lady Bombers despite being a win. JRU head coach Mia Tioseco said, “We expected them to be more focused. Pero mukhang distracted sila. We just tried to bring them back into the game. Buti na lang umaabot within the game, or else, it could have a heartbreak for us.”
Thus, the long-time coach hopes that her wards would learn from this and that, “in the next games, we need to come out more focused mentally.”
Skipper Katrina Racelis’ breakout game at 16 points could not carry Mapua to their first win in 16 tries.
The Lady Bombers (4-3) will try to extend their run when they face the Colegio de San Juan de Letran (2-4) on Wednesday, January 31. The Lady Cards (0-7) will square off with the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (4-2) on Tuesday, January 30.
JRU 3 – Verzosa 21, Alvarez 15, Montojo 12, Ebuenga 4, Rivera 4, Bodiongan 2, Bautista 0, Sibangan 0, Macaraya L.
MU 1 – Racelis 16, Morano 10, Latayan 7, Mangundayao 7, Pena 6, Frando 5, Barias 4, Hermano 0, Mercado 0, Ramilo L.