Arellano rides late blitz to shock San Beda and close in on back-to-back NCAA titles
The Lady Chiefs are a win away from repeating as NCAA champs.

DEFENDING champion Arellano University scored nine straight points to finish off San Beda University, 25-15, 25-16, 15-25, 22-25, 15-6, and move a step closer to retain the title in the NCAA Season 93 women’s volleyball tournament on Friday at The Arena in San Juan.

The Lady Chiefs unleashed a balanced attack as five players scored in double figures. Regine Arocha had 14 points, Jovielyn Prado made 13 markers, 13 digs and eight excellent sets, Andrea Marzan chipped in 11 and Necole Euben and skipper Mary Anne Esguerra finished with 10 markers apiece.

Game Two is on Monday but AU coach Ober Javier doesn’t want his team to make the same mistakes again.

“Napakalaking leksyon talaga, syempre kung gusto mong manalo, kailangan ‘wag mo nang pahirapan ang sarili mo,” he said.

“Kung kaya mo naman siyang kunin ng mabilis nang hindi ka na nagmamadali. So ‘yung nagyari kanina tingin ko mas magigising talaga ang team na hindi na ‘to dapat mangyari sa Game Two,” added the coach of the Legarda-based squad gunning for its third title in four years after winning in Season 90 and 92.

AU broke lose from a tied 6-6 contest in the fifth set after giving away three extra points to SBC courtesy of its errors.

Ann Esguerra started the Lady Chiefs’ 9-0 run, while setter Sarah Verutiao scored on a smart play to seal the win.

“Noong fifth set sinabi ko naman sa kanila na, ano ba talaga ang gusto niyong mangyari? Kung gusto niyong manalo, gumawa tayo ng paraan para manalo tayo, hindi ‘yung ganitong klase ng laro,” said Javier.

“Pinakita lang nila na talagang ‘yung pagiging champion talaga, ‘yung pusong gustong manalo. So ‘yun naman ang hinahanap ko sa team ko eh na ‘wag sanang magsawa sa pagiging panalo,” he added.

SBU team captain Cesca Racraquin delivered both offensively and defensively with 21 points, 17 digs and 23 excellent receptions in a match that took two hours and two minutes to finish.

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Nieza Viray and Trisha Paras combined for 25 markers for SBU.

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