Perpetual Help edged out College of St. Benilde, 27-25, 25-23, 11-25, 32-30, while Jose Rizal trounced Lyceum of the Philippines U, 25-13, 23-25, 25-11, 25-12, on Tuesday to complete the Final Four cast in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan City.
Cindy Imbo and Maria Lourdes Clemente combined for 31 points including 22 off attacks to lead the Lady Altas to their seventh win against two losses and back to the Final Four after missing the cut last season.
Shola Alvarez, for her part, dished out an all-around performance with a match-high 23 points on 16 spikes, four service aces and three blocks while helping her team with their floor defense with nine digs and six receptions.
Alvarez’s effort helped the Lady Bombers book a Final Four spot for the first time ever after finishing the elimination round at fourth with a 6-3 mark.
“I’m so happy for myself and the team because we will get to play in the Final Four for the very first time,” said Alvarez, who is battling San Beda’s Cesca Racraquin in the tight MVP race, in Filipino.
Perpetual Help coach Macky Cariño praised his team for showing poise.
“We are determined to get this win because we don’t want to play in the playoff anymore,” said Carino.
Truly, a loss by the Las Piñas-based school would have forged a three-way tie with JRU and CSB for the last two Final Four spots.
If it had happened, the top team with the highest quotient score automatically advances while the least two face off in a knockout duel on Friday.
Instead, Perpetual Help and JRU advanced and will tackle No. 2 San Beda and top seed Arellano U, the defending champion, in the Final Four on Friday or Tuesday.
AU and San Beda both ended up with a league-best 8-1 record but the former sealed the No. 1 seed with better tiebreak.
CSB finished with a 5-4 slate and at joint fifth with San Sebastian.