Arellano University eyes a double celebration as its women’s and men’s teams try shoots to finish off their respective foes on Monday in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 93 volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Lady Chiefs leaned on a balanced attack to turn back the San Beda Lady Red Spikers, 25-15, 25-16, 15-25, 22-25, 15-6, while the Chiefs stunned the fancied Perpetual Help Altas, 12-25, 25-21, 19-25, 26-24, 15-9, to gain the early upper hand in their best-of-three duels.
Regine Anne Arocha and Jovielyn Grace Prado led three other players with double-digit scores by firing 14 and 13 points and should remain the focal point of the AU’s attack anew as it shoots for the jugular in their 4 p.m. showdown.
AU is gunning for its second straight women’s title and third overall.
AU coach Obet Javier stressed the need to play with killer instinct.
“We can’t afford to give them a chance to beat us just like what happened in our first game,” said Javier in Filipino.
The Chiefs, for their part, are expected to draw strength from Christian dela Paz, who starred with a 24-point effort in the shock win in the opener.
“I’ll just try to help the team win a championship,” said dela Paz, a 20-year-old transferee out of University of the Philippines.
Dela Paz outshone Perpetual Help’s Joebert Almodiel, the newly-awarded rookie MVP and Best Outside Spiker who was held to just 18 hits in his first finals appearance in the NCAA.
Almodiel, a 20-year-old transferee from Southwestern University in Cebu, vowed to strike back strong.
“I felt the pressure. I hope to bounce back,” said Almodiel.
In the juniors’ division, defending champion Perpetual Help and Letran start their own best-of-three duel at 11 a.m.