University of Perpetual Help System DALTA came back from a two-set deficit and pulled the upset rug underneath Arellano University, 22-25, 22-25, 25-22, 25-12, 16-14, in the NCAA Season 95, Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The Lady Altas displayed grit and composure with their backs against the wall in a rematch of last year’s Finals. They leaned on their stifling net defense, staging a massive comeback that put the unbeaten streak of the defending champions to a screeching halt.
“Katulad ng previous na sinasabi ko kapag lumalaban kami ng fifth set, ‘yung third set kahit under tayo ng dalawang set, maraming pwedeng mangyari, maraming pwedeng matutunan. Tapos every set, every point dapat i-celebrate natin tapos tandaan,” Perpetual head coach Macky Cariño said.
“Noong nakakuha kami noong third at fourth, inulit lang namin tapos nakapag step up ‘yun blockings talaga namin. From third set hanggang fifth set, blockings talaga ‘yung bumuhay sa amin. And siyempre sa effort ng mga players ko, ‘yung willingness nila manalo,” he added.
The Lady Altas have strung five consecutive victories after losing their season opener to St. Benilde. They have risen to joint second place with their latest victims at 5-1 — behind the Lady Blazers, who possess a 5-0 slate.
Jhona Rosal spearheaded Perpetual’s late surge, pouring in 15 points laced with 16 excellent digs. Dana Persa carried the scoring cudgels as well with 10 markers off of eight hits and two aces.
Converted setter Jenny Gaviola also proved instrumental in the resurgence. Besides churning out the offense for the Lady Altas, Gaviola wreaked havoc above the net after collecting seven of her team’s 12 blocks to end up with 12 markers.
Errors spelled the difference as well. In the match that lasted for over two hours, the Lady Chiefs coughed out an eye-popping 48 miscues to Perpetual’s 30. In hindsight, the former almost gave up two full sets from errors alone.
Regine Arocha wound up with a game-high 23 points on top of 10 excellent receptions for a double-double performance that went down the drain. Princess Bello’s 16-point output also went for naught.
Perpetual seeks to carry on momentum when it faces San Beda on Friday, February 7. Meanwhile, Arellano tries to make a quick return to the win column when it collides with Letran on Tuesday, February 4. Both matches will be held at the same venue.