Cesca Racraquin and Nieza Viray rallied San Beda University to a hard-fought 25-17, 22-25, 25-27, 25-14, 15-6, escape over Jose Rizal University to open their campaign in the NCAA Season 95 women’s volleyball competition on a high note on Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The veteran duo came through with clutch plays in the fourth and fifth sets as the Lady Red Spikers overcame a 1-2 match deficit to turn back the gritty Lady Bombers.
“'Yun nga, JRU maganda rin talaga ginawa nila eh, habang kami may mga dapat ayusin,” said coach Nemesio Gavino, who is looking to steer San Beda back in the Finals following a runner-up finish two years ago.
The Lady Red Spikers bounced back mightily in the fourth set after yielding the extended third frame before pulling away midway in the deciding frame.
“Sa paningin ng tao maganda 'yung laban pero para sa amin hindi,” said Gavino. “Pero nagpapasalamat ako kasi mga bata, hindi nagpapatalo 'yang mga 'yan. 'Yung experience talaga nandoon, nakita ko sa game.”
Fourth year hitter Racraquin tallied 24 points off 20 attacks, three aces and a kill block while adding 22 digs for an all-around performance for the Mendiola-based squad.
Viray finished with 21 points with all but one coming off spikes while Kimberly Manzano and Trisha Paras contributed 15 and 11 markers, respectively, for the Lady Red Spikers, who pounded 66 kills. Lynne Matias had 21 excellent sets for San Beda.
The Lady Red Spikers broke away from a 4-3 lead in the fifth with five straight points for a 6-3 advantage. Racraquin made it a seven-point lead, 12-5, on an off the block hit before San Beda finished off the Lady Bombers with a 3-1 spurt capped by Manzano’s quick attack.
JRU failed to capitalize on its opening day win over San Sebastian College to fall to a 1-1 slate.
Dolly Verzosa led the Lady Bombers to 16 points while Mary Ruiz got 14.
This story was originally published on the ABS-CBN Sports website.