UNIVERSITY of Perpetual Help System Dalta scrambled past hard-luck Lyceum of the Philippines University, 25-27, 25-23, 26-24, 14-25, 17-15, to keep the pacesetters within reach yesterday in the NCAA women's volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Jhona Rosal produced a superb all-around outing of 20 points, including the match-clinching kill, 16 receptions and 10 digs for the Lady Altas.
Perpetual moved to solo fourth at 2-1 behind league-leading College of Saint Benilde, defending champion Arellano University and San Beda, a 25-13, 25-9, 25-21 winner over San Sebastian in the afternoon's other match.
Coach Macky Cariño was satisfied the way the Lady Altas responded after they were blown out by the Lady Pirates in the fourth that forced the decider.
"Kapag fifth set, it's more on mental. Yung skills, yung lakas noong lahat, gagamitin mo ng tama. Yung utak na lang talaga ang mangingibabaw pagdating ng fifth set. Yung hindi ka agresibo pero matalinong maglaro," said Cariño.
Yanca Tripoli added 19 points while Jenny Gaviola, a converted setter, had seven blocks to finish with 10 points and tossed in 13 excellent sets for Perpetual.
Against a struggling Lady Stags side still looking for the elusive first win, coach Mesio Gavino was happy the way the Lady Red Spikers performed in the one hour, 27 minute match.
"Ni-lessen ang mga errors at gumana ang service namin," said Gavino. "May mai-improve pa ang team."
Cesca Racraquin fired six service aces to finish with 19 points while Nieza Viray added 14 points, including three aces, for San Beda.
Although it was a tough win, Cariño believes that the Lady Altas are slowly getting into the groove of things, as the Las Piñas-based spikers are hoping to get that form that gave them a surprise runner-up last year.
"Nakuha namin ng konti, pero kailangan namin maging consistent. Anyway, malayo pa naman ang liga, ang susunod namin na kalaban eh Mapua. Tatlong araw pa, marami kaming dapat pag-ensayuhan," said Cariño.
"Itong game namin ngayon, kumpara sa San Sebastian, unti-unti kaming nag-iimprove. Mas maganda ang development ng team ko ngayon," he added.
As the season progresses, Cariño hopes that his graduating players led by Tripoli will elevate further their game to fulfill the ultimate goal of winning it all.
"Kailangan nilang mag-step up. Every training namin, kinakausap ko mga seniors ko," said Cariño.
"Lahat ng gustong umalis, yung magtapos ng kolehiyo sa paglalaro, yung gusto nila, mag-iwan ng magandang legacy. Ano yung legacy na iyon? Heto na nga isinusulat," he added.
"Kumbaga, isang malaking slum book ito, isang malaking libro itong ginagawa namin sa NCAA. Hindi namin alam kung magiging kabanata namin, pero hopefully and kine-claim ko na ito na pagdating sa dulo, sa huling kabanata namin, yung iyak namin, sa amin yung iyak na natalo kami. Yung iyak na nanalo kami."