On solid ground
With just too much firepower and employing a defense that refused to budge an inch, defending champion Arellano steamrolled its way past Emilio Aguinaldo, 25-15, 25-14, 25-20, to take No. 2 spot in the elimination round at Filoil Flying V Centre before the 95th NCAA women’s volleyball tournament also called for an indefinite break because of the coronavirus scare on Thursday.
The Lady Chiefs were able to prevail over the Lady Generals even without skipper Regine Arocha for the win that would have given them a lot of morale boost for a titanic clash with unbeaten College of St. Benilde supposedly next week.
Arellano and Benilde’s clash would have been on Monday as the Lady Chiefs try to forge a Final Four by denying the Lady Blazer spikers a sweep. But that matchup would have to wait until the health situation settles down.
The Lady Blazers would have warmed up for that match against Mapua in another busy schedule on Friday that was also called off.
With a 7-1 card, Arellano is ahead over its closest pursuers University of Perpetual Help and San Beda. A win over the Lady Blazers will seal the Lady Chiefs’ twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four.
EAC actually put up a gallant fight in the third frame, but the Legarda-based side made sure that there won’t be a meltdown.“Before the third set, I reminded the team to just handle the pressure,” coach Obet Javier said in Filipino. “Good thing we got a win.”
Carla Donato scored 12 points while Necole Ebuen added 11 points for the Lady Chiefs.
The Lady Generals finished their stint with a 1-8 mark.
Cathrine Almazan led EAC with 14 points, 10 digs and seven receptions.
Later, Letran, seeking to end its season on a high note, edged Perpetual Help, 25-22, 25-21, 18-25, 16-25, 17-15, for its fourth win in eight matches. Chamberlaine Cuñada paced the Lady Knights with 19 points while Daisy Melendres added 16 points, including three blocks.
Jhona Rosal had 22 points, 13 digs and eight receptions for the Lady Altas, who ended the eliminations with a 6-3 card.
In the men’s division, the Altas completed a 9-0 sweep and made the title series outright following a 25-14, 25-15, 25-18 win over the Knights.
Meantime, Jesrael Liberato had 23 points as Arellano rallied from two sets down to beat EAC, 22-25, 23-25, 25-22, 25-21, 15-13, and clinch the third semis berth with a 6-2 record.
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