GMA Network brings an intense face-off between defending champion Arellano University (AU) and this season’s unbeaten team De La Salle – College of St. Benilde (CSB) in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 97 Women’s Volleyball Finals. Game 1 began yesterday, July 20, and aired on GTV live from the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.
The Arellano Lady Chiefs are gunning for their fourth straight title after dismantling the Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers during their do-or-die stepladder semis battle last Sunday (July 17). Coming from a slow start this season, Coach Obet Javier’s team is determined to get the upper hand in the best-of-three series against the College of St. Benilde Lady Blazers.
Team captain Carla Donato will rely on Princess Bello, Trina Abay, Kristine Adante, Dodee Batindaan, Cherry Mae Cuenca, Alliah Daisog, Pauline De Guzman, Charmina Diño, Janice Mauntag, Robbie Matawaran, Marianne Padillon, Lorraine Pecaña, Donnalyn Paralejas, Alyana San Gregorio, and Nicole Sasuman to up their ante if they want to set the pace early on.
But Season 97 host school CSB is definitely out to put an end to Arellano’s dynasty. The Lady Blazers, who earned the first finals berth after sweeping the nine-game eliminations, are as determined as their opponents to take home the crown this season.
With their 9-0 (win-loss) card, Coach Jerry Yee’s team will be competing for the title for the first time since 2016 when they edged then defending champion Arellano University in the semifinals. Leading the championship campaign for the Lady Blazers is team captain Mycah Go who will depend on teammates Gayle Pascual, Michelle Gamit, Jade Gentapa, Corrine Apostol, Camill Avila, Chenae Basarte, Cathrina Dizon, Kim Alison Estenzo, Angelika Mondejar, Cloanne Mondoñedo, Cristy Ondangan, and Queen Ann Salmon to go for the kill against their opponents on the court.
This season’s final match-up sees the return of the Arellano-CSB rivalry.
CSB blocked AU’s rally for a back-to-back title in 2016 after the Lady Blazers defeated the Lady Chiefs in the semifinals. The two schools were about to play against each other in the final elimination round during Season 95 but the tournament was canceled due to the global pandemic in 2020.
“We have witnessed the dedication of all the 10 schools for Season 97’s volleyball competition. We are grateful to our official broadcast partner, GMA Network, for making the live games of the women’s volleyball tournament available to more viewers here and abroad. Now we are about to see yet another action-packed battle between Arellano University and De La Salle College of St. Benilde,” said NCAA Season 97 Management Committee Chairman Manuel Raymund Castellano, Jr. of De La Salle-College of St. Benilde.
“As home to the country’s premier collegiate league, GMA Network, through Synergy, is honored to bring to our viewers the NCAA Season 97 Women’s Volleyball Finals airing on GTV and live streamed via NCAA Philippines’ Youtube Channel and social media platforms. This season is quite special as we saw the return of volleyball action–which I’m sure our student-athletes and sports fans missed. As Filipinas continue to raise the Philippine flag in sports, we celebrate our NCAA women volleyball players for their hard work and passion despite these challenging times,” shared GMA Regional TV and Synergy First Vice President and Head Oliver Victor Amoroso.
Game 1 of the Women’s Volleyball Finals was anchored by Synergy Sports host Andrei Felix. Joining him was volleyball sensation Michele Gumabao.
Adding fun courtside were entertainment numbers from Garrett Bolden, Vilmark Viray, and Jessica Villarubin.
The NCAA Season 97 Women’s Volleyball Finals airs live on GTV at 1:30 p.m. Games 2 and 3 will be on July 22 and July 24 (as needed), respectively. Get your tickets via www.ticketmax.ph.
Catch the live stream on the NCAA Philippines website (www.gmanetwork.com/ncaa), NCAA Philippines Facebook page and YouTube channel, and GMA Sports’ Facebook and Twitter pages. Kapuso abroad can catch all the action via GMA News TV International.
For more updates on NCAA, visit its official website www.ncaa.com.ph. Follow @ncaaphilippines, @gmasynergy, and @gmasportsph on social media.