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Perpetual, JRU in semis

Perpetual's Bianca Tripoli  (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Perpetual’s Bianca Tripoli (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Jose Rizal University and University of Perpetual Help turned back their respective rivals yesterday to complete the semifinal cast in the NCAA women’s volleyball at The Arena in San Juan City.

The Lady Bombers edged the Lyceum Lady Pirates, 25-13, 23-25, 25-11, 25-12, for their first semis appearance while the Lady Altas booked a return trip to the Final Four with a hard-earned 27-25, 25-23, 11-25, 32-30 over the College of St. Benilde Lady Blazers.

JRU, which finished 6-3 at No. 4, thus set up a Final Four clash with top seed Arellano while Perpetual, which claimed the third spot with a 7-3 card, takes on No. 2 San Beda.

Both Arellano and San Beda enjoy twice-to-beat incentives in the Final Four which starts on Friday.

Perpetual survived erratic plays particularly in the fourth frame before Jowie Verzosa sealed the win with an off-the-block spike and a center attack.

Overall, the Lady Altas committed 45 errors.

It also helped that St. Benilde squander six match-point advantages, including a 24-22 lead due to errors.

Cindy Imbo and Maria Lourdes Clemente scored 16 and 15 points, respectively, including combined 22 kills as the Lady Altas fought off the Lady Blazers’ 10 blocks and 14 service aces.

“Ayoko na talagang mag-playoff kaya sabi ko sa kanila to treat the game na parang huling game na namin ito,” said Perpetual’s freshman mentor Macky Cariño, who was incidentally St. Benilde’s former coach before joining the Lady Altas.

Meanwhile, Shola Alvarez pumped in 23 points on 16 hits, four aces and three blocks as JRU took advantage of Lyceum’s weak reception by unloading 13 aces.