DEFENDING three-time champion Arellano University extended its winning run yesterday, thanks largely to its reigning MVP, who is highly motivated to prove her doubters wrong.
With Necole Ebuen providing the needed help to graduating standout Regine Arocha, the Lady Chiefs turned back the San Beda University Lady Red Spikers 25-20, 25-21, 25-22 and gained the solo lead in the 95th NCAA women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
Arocha, who suited up despite having flu-like symptoms and back problems, scored a match-best 18 points on 13 attacks and two blocks for Arellano, while opposite hitter Ebuen pumped in 12 makers.
With the big win, the Lady Chiefs hiked their record to 5-0 and handed San Beda its first loss of the tourney for a 3-1 card.
The victory served as a fitting follow-up to Arellano’s 25-17, 25-18, 25-27, 25-13 victory over San Sebastian College last Jan. 25.
“Ang naging motivation ko ay iyong sinasabi ng mga tao na hindi ako karapat-dapat para sa (MVP) award,” said Ebuen. “Gusto kong patunayan sa kanila na karapat-dapat ako sa award.”
After losing the first two sets, San Beda forged a 22-all standoff in the third frame on an Ebuen attacking error.
Ebuen redeemed herself with a kill and a Princess Bello hit brought the Lady Chiefs to match-point 24-22.
Ebuen sealed the win with a block on the Lady Red Spikers’ Nieza Viray.
Skipper Cesca Racraquin paced San Beda with 16 points, while Nieza Viray added 14.
In the other match, Perpetual Help clobbered Jose Rizal University 25-19, 25-20, 25-20 for its fourth straight win and move up to solo third.