Arellano, San Beda look to seal NCAA volleyball finals showdown


Posted at Feb 09 2018 05:51 AM

Defending champion Arellano looks to return to the finals. Josh Albelda, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – Arellano University and San Beda University try to forge an interesting title duel when they take on separate opponents in the Final 4 of the NCAA Season 93 women's volleyball tournament on Friday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Chiefs and the Lady Red Spikers are both assured of a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals after finishing the elimination round with identical 8-1 win-loss records.

Arellano took the No. 1 seed, and will take on the fourth-seeded Jose Rizal University (JRU) at 4 p.m.

San Beda, meanwhile, will face off against University of Perpetual Help at 2 p.m.

The defending champions Lady Chiefs are eyeing a second straight finals appearance, with an eye on back-to-back titles and third in four years. The Lady Red Spikers, meanwhile, are gunning for their maiden finals appearance.

"Winning the title has always been our goal. But we need to focus in the Final Four first before thinking of anything," said Arellano coach Obet Javier.

For their part, Perpetual Help and JRU, which finished third and fourth after the elims with 7-2 and 6-3 marks, respectively, are hoping to extend the series to another game on Tuesday.

The Lady Altas fought hard in their first game against the Lady Red Spikers but ended up absorbing a heartbreaking 26-28, 18-25, 27-29 defeat on January 11, while the Lady Bombers extended their earlier duel with the Lady Chiefs to a set before falling, 11-25, 25-22, 18-25, 16-25, on January 16.

Shola Alvarez, an MVP contender who leads the league in scoring with an average of 21.33 points a game, said she will try to make the most out of her final season.

"I will give it all since this could be my last game in the NCAA," said Alvarez.

Meanwhile, San Beda and reigning titlist De La Salle-College of St. Benilde face off at 11 a.m. in the first stepladder semis game with the winner tackling No. 2 Arellano Tuesday in the men’s division.

Perpetual Help swept the elimination round in nine games to automatically advance to the best-of-three finals.

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