They’re in

February 04, 2020
LETRAN’s Chamberlaine Cuñada
LETRAN’s Chamberlaine Cuñada tries to score off Arellano University’s Mikaela Juanich and Necole Ebuen during their NCAA women’s volleyball match yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Lady Chiefs make it to Final Four.

ARELLANO University moved on the cusp of securing its eighth consecutive semifinals appearance with a 25-14, 26-28, 25-19, 25-16 win over Letran in a lone NCAA women’s volleyball match yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

The four-peat seeking Lady Chiefs rebounded from a second set loss by dominating the next two to clinch their sixth victory in seven matches, while dealing the Lady Knights a major blow on their Final Four aspirations. 

Coming off a tough five-set loss to last season’s losing finalist University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, Arellano vented its ire on Letran by imposing its will in the opening frame.

But complacency hit the Lady Chiefs in the second set, as the Lady Knights took a 24-19 lead.

Arellano was able to score fifth straight points to tie the set at 24-24 but Letran held its composure until it leveled the match at one set apiece.

Coach Obet Javier has something to worry about the Lady Chiefs’ consistency in the game, especially with their setter’s distribution of plays and libero’s reception.

”Nakakatakot yung performance ng team ko kasi pabago-bago. Dapat hindi ganoon ang takbo eh” said Javier. “Nanalo ka pero hindi gaanong kasaya kasi ang dami pa ring lapses yung team.”

Regine Arocha led Arellano with 19 points, including three service aces, while reigning MVP Necole Ebuen had two service aces to finish witg 13 points.

Carla Donato tallied four blocks for a 12-point outing for the Lady Chiefs.

Javier hopes that Arellano will not veer away to the system at this point of the tournament.

“Nandoon pa rin kasi, nag-relax eh. Maisip sana ng mga player ko na yung mga nangyayari sa laro, na every game may pagbabago na hindi maganda,” said Javier.

“Nagde-defend ka ng title, pero hindi maganda, hindi ka-convincing. Dapat kung gusto mong i-defend yung title mo, dapat yung performance mo, dapat itinatakbo mo ng tama, hindi pabago-bago,” he added.

With its third loss in six matches, Letran is now a game behind San Beda (4-2) in the race for the last semifinals berth.

Chamberlaine Cuñada came through with 16 points and Julienne Castro contributed 10 points and 10 digs for the Lady Knights.

Meanwhile, Jesrael Liberato had 17 points, including three blocks, as Arellano dispatched Letran, 25-22, 25-12, 25-17, for its fifth men’s win in seven matches.

Juniors action saw Arellano extending its perfect run to seven following a 25-12, 25-21, 23-25, 25-20 over Letran. (Theodore P. Jurado)