COLLEGE of St. Benilde and Arellano University try to arrange a Finals showdown for the 89th NCAA women’s volleyball tournament as they go for the jugular Friday at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Blazers and Lady Chiefs both carry a 1-0 slate, while the Lady Altas and Lady Stags hold similar 0-1 cards and are on the brink of being eliminated for a berth in the Finals.
But despite its advantage, St Benilde coach Michael Cariño said his team won't be complacent against the Lady Stags in their 12 noon encounter.
“HIndi pa rin kami pwedeng mag siguro,” said Cariño. “Mag-aaral ulit kami, mag-pe-prepare, para bawat mali namin sa semifinals maayos namin.”
Jeanette Panaga, Jannine Navarro and Therese Veronas are again at the forefront of the Lady Blazers’ campaign as the try to put the cuffs on Gretchel Soltones, the sophomore sensation of San Sebastian.
Meanwhile, the Lady Altas will rely on reigning MVP Norie Jane Diaz and the leadership of Honey Tubino against the Lady Chiefs.
Tubino, despite not being able to attend the team’s practices due to her OJT (on the job training), still came away with 20 points against the Lady Blazers in their game Monday.
“All we have to do is we will study the set plays of Arellano,” said Perpetual Help coach Sammy Acaylar. “Pero more importantly motivation ang binibigay ko sa kanila para hindi bababa ang morale nila. As I said this is not the end of the world, meron pa tayong isang araw para mabago pa ang kapalaran.”
Arellano will bank on a solid team effort behind Menchie Tubiera, Cristine Rosario, Danna Henson, and Shirley Salamagos, who each had 17, 13, 12, and 10 points, respectively, against San Sebastian on Monday.
A win by both the Lady Altas and Lady Stags will set them up for a do-or-die game on Monday.
The two teams with the highest quotient at the end of the Final Four will meet for the championship.