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Arellano volleybelles shoot for solo lead

Games Today (The Arena, San Juan City)
8 a.m. – Lyceum vs Perpetual (j)
9:30 a.m. – Lyceum vs P’petual (m)
11 a.m. – Lyceum vs P’petual (w)
12:30 p.m. – EAC vs Arellano (m)
2 p.m. – EAC vs Arellano (w)
3:30 p.m. – EAC vs Arellano (Jrs)

Ann Esguerra  (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Ann Esguerra (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Women’s defending champion Arellano guns for the early solo lead today even as last year’s finalist University of Perpetual Help opens its bid in the NCAA volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.

The Lady Chiefs shoot for their second straight win in as many matches when they clash against the Emilio Aguinaldo College Lady Generals at 2 p.m., while the Altas collide with the Lyceum Pirates at 9:30 a.m.

Spotlight, however, falls on Arellano, which opens its back-to-back title campaign on a strong note with a 25-10, 25-17, 25-13 sweep of lowly Mapua last Thursday.

Despite boasting of an intact lineup and championship experience, Arellano coach Obet Javier warns his players not to be too complacent.

“Sabi ko sa kanila, hindi pa tayo champion ngayon. Ide-defend pa lang natin. Kaya dapat ituloy namin yung effort na ipinakita namin last season,” said Javier, whose team’s improbable run earned its first title.

Javier will continue to rely on veterans Regine Arocha and Mary Anne Esguerra to deliver anew, but will give more playing time on back-up setter Sarah Verutiao after an impressive showing in their Mapua game where she made 28 excellent sets.

EAC, which finished ninth last season with a single win in nine outings, is expected to come out strong to put the past behind.