CALL it déjà vu for Perpertual Help.
For the second straight season, the Lady Altas finished the elimination round as the No. 4 squad with a 6-3 record and will face a tough task in their title bid in the 95th NCAA women’s volleyball tournament.
But that hardly bothers Perpetual coach Macky Cariño.
The Lady Altas defied the odds last year when they stunned top seed and twice-to-beat College of St. Benilde in the Final Four and advanced to the finals before losing to Arellano University.
Carino steered the Lady Blazers, his former team, to their first-ever title in 2016 after CSB foiled thrice-to-beat San Sebastian College in the Big Dance.
If he will have his way, Cariño still likes the Final Four instead of a stepladder format.
“It’s either an elimination sweep or Final Four. Pero kung ako ang papapiliin, mas maganda kung Final Four,” said Cariño.
“Although may mga nawala sa team ko, mayroon akong apat na seniors and malay mo, magawa ko ulit iyong nagawa ko last year,” he added.
As a preventive measure due to the threat posed by the deadly coronavirus, the league suspended men’s and women’s volleyball play since Feb. 14 and is set to resume on March 16.
The Lady Blazers are unbeaten in seven matches, two wins away from an elimination sweep and an outright finals slot.
Cariño admitted that the stepladder semifinals is tougher than the Final Four since they will have to hurdle who will emerge as the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in knockout battles to reach the finals.
“Mahirap ang Final Four semifinals kasi I experienced that when I was in CSB. After ng liga, nagpa-ospital talaga ako, iba talaga iyong pressure, iba iyong training,” recalled the coach.