MANILA, Philippines -- An already-eliminated Colegio de San Juan de Letran squad pulled off a three-set shocker of Mapua University in the NCAA Season 97 women's volleyball tournament, Wednesday at the Paco Arena.
The Lady Knights came away with a 25-17, 25-21, 25-18 triumph to snap a three-match losing streak and deal a blow to Mapua's hopes of making the Final 4.
Juls Castro had 19 points, 16 digs and four receptions, Cha Cuñada was also huge for the Lady Knights with 14 points and 14 digs, while Shereena Urmeneta chipped in 11 points.
Cuñada, whose breakout campaign in Season 95 was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, was relieved to contribute to a morale-boosting victory for her squad.
"In this game po, hindi namin iniisip na magpa-Final 4 'yung Mapua. Pinusuan po talaga namin knowing na sinabihan po ako ng mga coaches namin na isa ako sa inaasahan ng team," said Cuñada. "Pinagkatiwalaan ko lang talaga 'yung sarili ko throughout the game."
Letran entered the match with just one win in seven matches and was already out of the running for a spot in the Final 4. They improved to 2-6 in the tournament, while extending their school's dominance over their Intramuros rivals.
Mapua got nine points and seven digs from Jonina Fernandez while Nicole Ong and Tere Manalo added seven points apiece.
It was a costly result for the Lady Cardinals, who dropped to 4-4 in the tournament. With one game left on their schedule, they are just half a game ahead of joint fifth-placers Lyceum of the Philippines University and Jose Rizal University (3-4).