REIGNING NCAA titlist Arellano University put on a late charge in the second set then took control early in the third to fashion out a 25-22, 25-21, 25-18 victory over San Beda and seize the Group B lead in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan yesterday.
Jovielyn Prado bettered her 14-hit effort in powering the Lady Chiefs to a straight-set romp over the St. Benilde Lady Blazers last Saturday with a 16-point production as the Bustillos-based squad gained some momentum in the short single round elims of the two-division tournament organized by Sports Vision.
Regine Arocha also unloaded 13 hits for the Lady Chiefs, who also held San Beda ace Cesca Racraquin to just nine points after the former Creamline hitter unleashed a 19-point game in their four-set win over Technological Institute of the Phl.
“We worked on our defense,” said Arellano coach Obet Javier, whose wards also avenged their Founders’ Cup setback to the same SBC team last July.
Prado, toughened up by her stint with the Power Smashers in the recent Open Conference of the league backed by Mikasa and Asics, unleashed 11 attack points and came through with three aces and two blocks.
“We leaned on our experience to rally in the second and made some adjustments with our reception to neutralize the Red Spikers’ strong serves,” said Prado.
The 2-0 mark thus put Arellano in the lead in the six-team Group B where the top two after the elims will advance to the crossover semis.
Arellano faces Adamson on Saturday with the Lady Falcons coming off a thrilling 17-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-19, 15-9 victory over the UP Lady Maroons last Monday.
In men’s division, Ateneo held off San Beda’s charge in the third set and hacked out a 25-23, 25-16, 27-25 victory to seize the solo lead in Group B at 2-0.
But Far Eastern U foiled National U’s bid to join the Eagles at the helm as the Tams pulled off a 25-23, 21-25, 25-21, 14-25, 15-13 thriller in the other contest in the season-ending conference of the country’s premier volley league.
Paul Bugaoan hammered in 22 hits while Richard Solis and Jude Garcia combined for 28 points for the Tams, who bounced back strong from a fourth-set meltdown with a gritty stand in the decider.
Fauzi Ismail scored 19 points while Kim Malabunga, James Natividad and Francis Saura combined for 38 makers for the Bulldogs, who dropped to 1-1.
Marck Espejo fired 15 hits while Gian Glorioso added 13 markers as the Eagles dominated the Lions in spikes, 49-34, and blocks, 7-4, with Joner Polvorosa producing 33 excellent sets against counterpart Carlo Desuyo’ 21.
San Beda, which drew 10 hits from Limuel Patenio, fell to 0-2.
8 a.m. – Ateneo vs UST (men’s)
10 a.m. – La Salle vs FEU (men’s)
4 p.m. – Adamson vs Arellano (women’s)
6:30 p.m. – FEU vs Ateneo (women’s)