In a day full of pivotal battles for the three remaining slots in the NCAA women’s volleyball Final Four, the second one has been clinched.
Last year’s runners-up San Beda University Lady Spikers followed reigning champions Arellano University Lady Chiefs into the next round after a comprehensive finish over former multiple-time champions San Sebastian College-Recoletos Lady Stags, 25-20, 25-15, 25-18, Tuesday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
It was mission accomplished for the wards of head coach Nemesio Gavino, Jr., as his reminders before the match did not fall on deaf dears. “Ni-remind ko lang sila na i-secure na namin yung Final Four, tsaka namin hintayin yung mga pwedeng mangyari.”
The Lady Red Spikers dealt well with an inconsistent Lady Stags squad, who came into the game needing to sweep their last remaining games to have a sure spot in the semifinals. However, instead of a determined San Sebastian team, it was the Mendiola-based ladies who dominated their cross-street neighbors.
Captain Cesca Racraquin came out firing in this game, and steered San Beda to their seventh win with 14 markers. Fellow outside hitter Nieza Viray and middle hitter Trisha Paras added nine points each.
Gavino, Jr. did not expect the match to last under an hour, but knew that the white-shirts had simply executed their training. He added, “Siguro nagawa lang namin yung tama kaya napadali yung game.”
Lady Stags team captain Joyce Sta. Rita was checked by the San Beda blockers, but still came up with nine points to lead her team.
In the first game, the College of Saint Benilde Lady Blazers also inched closer to the semifinals, and in the process, have endangered Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers’ own bid. They stopped the latter in four frames, 20-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-22.
Klarisa Abriam paced the Lady Blazers with 16 of the team’s 54 attacks, which outscore the Bombers’ 38. Three other Benildeans ended in double digits, with Arianne Daguil producing 14 points.
Fortunately for the Lady Bombers, the Lady Stags’ loss opened up a chance for them for a playoff for a possible Final Four slot.
Thursday’s match between the Lady Blazers (6-1) and the Lady Stags (4-3) will be crucial for both teams and for JRU and the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA. The match is scheduled at 2 pm.
San Beda (7-1) will try to prevent a sweep when they face Finals opponents Arellano in their final elims assignment on January 15, Tuesday at 4 pm. On the other JRU (4-4) will hope to enter their own last qualifying match against Perpetual with a chance at the Final Four, Thursday, January 17, at 12 noon.
CSB 3 – Abriam 17, Daguil 14, Austero 12, Miranda 10, Pablo 7, Umali 5, Lai 1, Gamit 0, Torres L, Lim L.
JRU 1 – Verzosa 12, Rose 10, Niegos 8, Montojo 7, Rivera 5, Melgar 3, Batalon 2, Bondoc 0, Sibangan 0, Huit L, Aquino L.
SBU 3 – Racraquin C. 14, Viray N. 9, Paras 9, Viray J. 6, Espiritu 4, Matias 2, Tannagan 0, Manuel 0, Racraquin D. L.
SSC-R 0 – Sta. Rita 9, Dalisay 8, Dapol 7, Tan 4, Oliveros 3, Requierme 3, Sarmiento 1, Carreon 0, Bermillo L.