Pushed to corner by heavyweights, Lady Pirates begin fighting back
Lyceum wants this to be the season it makes the NCAA women’s volleyball tournament Final Four for the first time since joining the league in 2011.
But a tough opening schedule had the Lady Pirates backed into a corner early in the tournament.
“If you look at our schedule, we were tested right away,” Lyceum coach Emil Lontoc said in Filipino. “We went up against the No. 1 (defending champion Arellano) and No. 2 (St. Benilde) right away. Thankfully, our next game after those two (No. 3 San Beda) was postponed [because of the Taal eruption].”
As if to stress Lontoc’s point, St. Benilde went on to tie Arellano on top of the standings with 5-0 records after turning back San Sebastian, 25-18, 25-13, 25-17, on Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre.The Lady Pirates may not be challenging for the lead at this point just yet but their 25-18, 25-17, 25-15 victory over Emilio Aguinaldo later in the day propped their record to 2-3 after that wobbly start.
More importantly, that put Lyceum at fifth place and still within semifinal contention.
First-year playmaker Venice Puzon tossed 15 excellent sets and fired four service aces, mostly in the third set, as she flaunted her potential for the Lady Pirates.
Lyceum capitalized on the buffet of kill opportunities with Joy Onofre finishing with 13 points, Monica Sevilla firing 11 points and Alexandra Rafael adding 10.
Cathrine Almazan had 12 points, including three blocks, and nine digs, while Lauren Cabrera chipped in nine more for the Lady Generals (0-4).
Matet Pablo and Klarisa Abriam, meanwhile, teamed up for 21 points for the Lady Blazers. INQ
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.