MANILA, Philippines - NCR-South bucked a sputtering start to eke out a 21-25, 25-20, 25-17 victory over Central Luzon even as Western Visayas fashioned out an easy 25-10, 25-5 rout of Northern Luzon to kick off hostilities in the Shakey’s Girls Volleyball Tournament-of-Champions yesterday at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
The NCR volleybelles drew superb performances from Caryl Sandoval and Melanie Torres who punched in six kills and four blocks, and five hits, respectively, as they made a fierce fightback from one-set down.
The win sent NCR-South, represented by Colegio San Agustin and Angelicum College mainstays, to the early lead in Pool A of the tournament sponsored by Shakey’s and organized by Metro Sports.
Spicing up the week-long tournament, backed by Toby’s Sports, Mikasa as official ball, Tune Hotels as official residence of T-of-C, Asics and Volley Prep, is the participation of the Victoria team from Australia.
NCR-South actually went within four points of seizing the first set only to stumble and allow CL to notch six unanswered points and snatch the frame.
But they overcame that initial setback and shifted to high gear in the next sets.
Gaining from a service ace by Bianca Nierves and a kill by Ana Gopico sandwiching two errors by CL, NCRS drew level with a 25-20 verdict in the second set.
Sandoval of Angelicum then delivered the big shots in the deciding third, making two successive aces and a couple of hits to push NCRS to a 16-7 cushion. Sandoval’s points off the block and a service error by Lizel Domingo finally secured the win for NCRS.
WV, with the core from Central Philippine University, turned to Princess Anne Robles and Bernadeth Pons of Rafael Lacson Memorial High School, in punching through the defense of an overmatched NL.