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Perpetual, Arellano overpower foes to solidify playoff bids

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Defending champions, Arellano University Lady Chiefs and, semifinalist, University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Lady Altas fashioned out similar straight-sets victories over Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers and San Beda College Lady Red Spikers, respectively, and strengthened their claims on the Final Four slots, Wednesday, at the FilOil Flying V Center, San Juan City.

The Lady Altas opened up the women’s twinbill by outlasting the stubborn Lady Red Spikers, 25-19, 25-21, 25-22, to crowd the race for one of the twice-to-beat bonuses in the semifinals. The Las Piñas-based squad outgunned San Beda on attacks, 41-25, and rejected 11 of the latter’s hits, to carve this victory.

However, the young Perpetual squad kept the Lady Red Spikers in the game with their 32 errors. Timely hits from outside hitter, Nieza Viray, also provided the needed boost for San Beda in crucial stretches of the game. In the end, it was the steady reception of Perpetual’s libero, Vhima Condada, and defense of her entire squad that sealed it for the former NCAA champions.

Lady Altas’ former Team Captain, Jamela Suyat, soared highest for Perpetual with 16 points, with 11 attacks and 2 service aces. Incumbent skipper, Ana Diocareza, and wing attacker, Cindy Imbo, had 13 and 10 markers, respectively. Nieza Viray led the San Beda pride with 10 spikes and 1 ace.

Perpetual Head Coach, Sammy Acaylar, was very pleased with the performance of his squad. For the decorated mentor what is important is, “Nag-eenjoy sila [the girls] sa court.”

The Scores:
UPHSD (3)Suyat 16, Diocareza 13, Imbo 10, Clemente 9, Bravo 7, Gual 1, Gayo 0, Medalla 0, Condada (L), Calleja (L)
SBC (0) – N Viray 11, Domingo 6, Racraquin 5, Garcia 2, Kramer 2, Cuevas 1, Espiritu 1, J Viray 1, Manuel 0, Tannagan 0, Zamudio (L), Dumpit (L)

In the main women’s match, reigning titlists Arellano shut the Final Four door on the Lady Bombers in a tight 25-21, 25-23, 25-19, victory. JRU fought toe-to-toe with the Lady Chiefs in terms of blocking, 3-all, despite the height disparity. It is in the attacking department where Arellano had their field day with a 51-38 attacking advantage, as setter Rhea Ramirez produced a whopping 34 excellent sets.

Middle attackers, CJ Rosario and Shirley Salamagos paced the Chiefs with 17 and 14 markers, respectively. On the other hand, outside hitters, Shola Alvarez and Rosalie Pepito topbilled the Lady Bombers with 14 points apiece.

The Scores:
AU (3)Rosario 17, Salamagos 14, Henson 9, Prado 9, Sante 7, Arocha 1, Sawali 0, Galang (L)
JRU (0) – Alvarez 14, Pepito 14, Batalon 6, Sixto 4, Montojo 4, Caridad 1, Rivera 0, Macaraya (L)

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Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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