REIGNING MVP Necole Ebuen produced a breakout game as Arellano University topped San Beda, 25-20, 25-21, 25-22, to extend its perfect run to five games yesterday in the NCAA women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Regine Arocha, the league-leading scorer, led the Lady Chiefs with 18 points, including three service aces and two blocks, but it was Ebuen who took the spotlight for the defending champions, especially in the third frame.
Later, University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, priming up for tomorrow’s rematch of last year’s Finals with Arellano, posted its first straight-set win of the season, a 25-19, 25-20, 25-20 romp of struggling Jose Rizal University.
Jhona Rosal produced another solid outing of 15 points and 13 digs while Shyra Umandal had two blocks to finish with 10 points for the Lady Altas, who climbed to solo third at 4-1.
The Lady Chiefs finally got what they need from Ebuen to lessen the burden from Arocha.
With the set tied at 22-22, Ebuen scored two of Arellano’s last three points, including the match-clinching block off Nieza Viray.
Ebuen had a game-high four blocks to finish with 12 points and collect 11 digs for the Lady Chiefs.
“Kailangan kong ibalik ang dating laro kasi kailangan ako ng team. Kumbaga, hindi lang si ate Regine ang gumalaw sa team. Lahat, kailangang mag-contribute,” said Ebuen.
On the midst of a tough three-match stretch in six days that will test Arellano’s conditioning, coach Obet Javier hopes that every player will remain in tip-top game shape.
Up next for the Lady Chiefs are the Lady Altas tomorrow.
”Alam natin ang Perpetual, simula hanggang sa dulo, palaban iyan,” said Javier.
The Lady Red Spikers lost for the first time after opening the season with three straight wins.
Coach Macky Cariño was happy the way the Lady Altas posted their first convincing victory of the tournament against an uninspired Lady Bombers side.
“At long last, naka-straight sets ako. For the past five games, di ba ngayon lang ako na yung parang feeling ko talagang nanalo ako na pinaghirapan talaga na nanalo ako. Yung previous (against Mapua), hindi eh. Nanalo ako na parang feeling ko natalo ako dahil ang pangit ng performance ng team ko,” said Cariño.
In the men’s division, Jeffrey Losa had 18 points, 15 digs and 23 receptions as San Beda improved to 3-1 while dealing Arellano its first loss after four staight wins with a 25-15, 25-19, 23-25, 25-16 decision.