Lady Chiefs in big battle

January 09, 2019
Shyra Umandal
UNIVERSITY of Perpetual Help System Dalta’s Shyra Umandal, with the help of Jowie Versoza and Cindy Imbo, succesfully foils Mapua’s Jan Morano during their NCAA women’s volleyball match Monday. The Lady Altas face defending two-time champion Arellano Lady Chiefs today. (Dennis Abrina)

THREE-PEAT-SEEKING Arellano University tries to hurdle the first of two big  stumbling blocks in its bid to make the finals outright today, taking on a dangerous University of Perpetual Help System Dalta in the NCAA women’s volleyball tournament.

Already assured of a semifinal  berth for seventh year in a row, the Lady Chiefs remain on course of jumping straight to the best-of-three championship.

But the Legarda-based spikers face daunting task in the 2 p.m. meeting with the Lady Altas at the Filoil Floying V Centre.

The Altas are hell-bent on taking this one to solidify their hold of the No. 4 spot and move closer to claiming one of two remaining semis slots up for grabs.

If it beats Perpetual Help and San Beda in a rematch of last year’s Finals on Tuesday, Arellano will clinch an automatic championship slot, making the semifinals a step-ladder format.

The Lady Chiefs won seven straight games and coach Obet Javier said there was no secret on the hot streak, except that his players merely gave their best on both ends of the floor.

“Actually, hindi lang kami nakatutok sa offense. Sa lahat. Ultimo sa depensa. Kailangang lahat balanse, para kahit paano, hindi kami nakasalalay sa iisang posisyon, sa iisang skill,” said Javier.

Aside from being the No. 1 spiking team, the Lady Chiefs are also the leaders in setting, and that is despite the fact that their playmakers Rhea Ramirez and Sarah Verutiao are not even among the best.

Now in solo fourth at 4-2, the Lady Altas are not just carrying the burden of foiling their foes’ outright championship berth bid.

Perpetual Help is also trying to parry San Sebastian and Jose Rizal University, the two tied at 4-3, in the chase for the No. 4 slot in the semifinals, as a loss will force a three-way tie for fourth spot.

Mapua and Letran collide in a no-bearing game 12 noon.