Unheralded Lyceum of the Philippines University seeks to close in on its first ever Final Four appearance as it clashes with league doormat Emilio Aguinaldo today in the women’s division of the 92nd NCAA volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan City.
The Lady Pirates have been creating a stir this season after racking up four victories in their first five games that was highlighted by a shock 25-22, 24-26, 25-18, 20-25, 15-10 victory over the St. Benilde Lady Blazers, the reigning champions, on Dec. 6.
LPU is currently tied with Arellano U at No. 3 and a win in its 11:30 a.m. duel with EAC, still winless in six outings, will catapult it to joint second with St. Benilde (5-1) and closer to undefeated leader San Sebastian (6-0).
Most importantly, the Lady Pirates, one of the most titled teams in the WNCAA before joining the NCAA five years ago, are on the brink of advancing to the Final Four for the very first time.
“With more hard work, we hope to achieve our goal of making the Final Four this year,” said LPU coach Emil Lontoc in Filipino.
Cherilyn Jhane Sindayen has been the anchor to LPU’s strong showing this year as she is currently running fifth overall in the best scoring list with an average of 14.8 hits a game, trailing an elite company headed by last year’s Finals MVP Jeanette Panaga of CSB and reigning back-to-back MVP Grethcel Soltones of San Sebastian.
Meanwhile, Arellano U likewise shoots for a share of second as it tangles with Jose Rizal (2-4) at 1 p.m.
In juniors’ play, Emilio Aguinaldo (5-0) and LPU (3-0) try to stay unscathed as the two collide at 8:30 a.m.
The winner of the EAC-LPU will boost its stock in their bid of automatically barging into the best-of-three finals by virtue of a sweep of the single-round robin eliminations.
In men’s play, LPU (2-3) faces off with EAC (0-6) at 10 a.m. while AU (4-1) battles JRU (1-5) at 2:30 p.m.