By Jerome Lagunzad
(The Arena, San Juan City)
8:00 a.m. – Lyceum vs CSB (Jrs)
9:30 a.m. – Lyceum vs CSB (m)
11:00 a.m. – Lyceum vs CSB (w)
12:30 p.m. – Perpetual vs San Beda (w)
2:00 p.m. – Perpetual vs San Beda (m)
3:30 p.m. – Perpetual vs San Beda (j)
With ace spiker Shola Alvarez doing doing the damage, Jose Rizal University survived gritty San Sebastian, 27-25, 25-23, 22-25, 16-25, 15-12, yesterday to barge into the winners’ column of the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
The comely Alvarez rifled in a career-best of 28 points, 24 of them on the offensive end, delivering the killer blows down the stretch that helped the Lady Bombers avert a monumental collapse against the undermanned but relentless Lady Stags side.
Dolly Grace Verzoza chiefly backstopped Alvarez with 15 points, all off kills, while Karen Montojo added nine points as JRU recovered from a a painful five-set loss to San Beda last Friday and tie its stubborn victim with similar 1-1 records.
“Sobrang happy na nanalo kami kasi veteran and may winning legacy sila,” said JRU coach Mia Tioseco. “Two years in a row na slang nasa Finals and siyempre it’s a very big step for us na nanalo against a veteran team like them.”
Nikka Dalisay had 17 points while three other teammates scored at least 15 points each for San Sebastian, which tried hard to overhaul a 0-2 set deficit but ran out of steam in the fifth and final frame.
Earlier, Letran handled struggling Mapua with ease, 25-22, 25-17, 25-19.
Sophomore Charm Simborio delivered 16 points, built around 10 kills and six service aces, while four other teammates added at least six points each as the Lady Knights proved too strong for the struggling Lady Cardinals.
The dominant victory enabled Letran to bounce back from a straight-sets loss to top contender St. Benilde last Friday for an even 1-1 card. Mapua, meanwhile, suffered its second straight setback and 11th consecutive dating back to last season.
Patria Pena had a team-high 19 points, all coming from the offensive end, but the Lady Cardinals paid a hefty price for making tons of errors, allowing the Lady Knights to score 28 from those.
In men’s play, Mapua dominated Letran, 25-20, 25-11, 25-21, with Mark Jason Egan leading three other teammates in double figures with a game-high 12 points, all but one off kills.