by Kristel Satumbaga
Games Tuesday (The Arena, San Juan City)
4 p.m. – Perpetual vs Arellano (Women’s)
University of Perpetual Help tries to accomplish what it failed to do the last time as it aims for the NCAA women’s volleyball title against two-time defending champion Arellano University in their winner-take-all match today at The Arena in San Juan City.
A win for the Lady Altas would complete the school’s triple crown campaign after its juniors and men’s squads retained their titles last Friday.
Perpetual Help coach Macky Cariño admitted his stalwarts were pressured to deliver in Game 2 that led to their downfall, 23-25, 25-9, 25-18, 22-25, 15-12. They won in Game 1, 21-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-20.
“Sobrang kinabahan yung mga bata nung nakita nilang nanalo na yung juniors and men’s,” said Cariño, whose team played last on that playdate.
Cariño added they focused on improving their mental toughness rather than skills when they prepared for the rubber match.
“Encouragement ang kailangan nila para tumibay ang loob nila (They needed encouragement for mental toughness),” said Cariño, adding his players needed to relax in order to do what they have done in Game 1.
First best outside spiker Cindy Imbo continues to banner the Lady Altas’ attack, but will have her hands full as Arellano parades a lineup brimming with championship experience led by Season Most Valuable Player Necole Ebuen and Princess Bello, who finished with 18 points each, along with Regine Arocha and Carla Donato.
Perpetual seeks its first crown since 2015 while Arellano hopes to extend its reign to three years.