ARELLANO University overpowered Emilio Aguinaldo, 25-19, 25-12, 25-11, to zoom to the solo lead, even as Perpetual Help bared its title intention with an emphatic 25-21, 25-17, 25-22 win over Lycuem of the Philippines University yesterday in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball competition at the Filoil Arena in San Juan City.
Necole Ebuen, a rookie transferee from Letran, pounded in 15 hits, including 12 off attacks while Jovielyn Prado uncorked 12 points to help the Lady Chiefs, who waylaid the Mapua Lady Cardinals, 25-10, 25-17, 25-13, in the opener Thursday, grab the top spot.
It was also AU’s 14th win in row, including 12 straight from last season when it rattled off eight in the elimination round, one in the stepladder semis and three in a final sweep of San Sebastian.
“We can’t afford mistakes in this kind of format so we have to get as many wins as we can,” said AU coach Obet Javier.
The Lady Altas were equally impressive on new coach Macky Carino’s debut.
Maria Lourdes Clemente, Cindy Imbo and Maria Aurora Blanca Tripoli came out firing with 14, 13 and 10 points, respectively, while Jowie Albert Verzosa chipped seven after taking over the starting job from Jhona Rosal, who was sidelined indefinitely due to ovarian cyst.
In other games, Perpetual Help bested LPU, 25-18, 25-20, 25-13, to set in motion its title-retention bid in the juniors’ division, while also winning its game against LPU, 25-19, 25-13, 25-18, in the men’s side.
Meanwhile, San Beda forfeited two games after midfielder Dane Penaflor was found to have been ineligible that sent the defending champion skidding from the top spot to fourth in today’s Final Four of the seniors’ football competition at the Rizal Memorial Complex field.
Arellano U’s Peter Cayco, who chairs football’s organizing committee, said San Beda sent them a letter admitting Penaflor was ineligible that resulted to the voluntary forfeiture of two of their three games the player in question played.
Penaflor suited up for the Red Booters in wins against the Emilio Aguinaldo Generals and Mapua Cardinals and a loss to the AU Chiefs.
Because of this, San Beda has lost the top seeding and the twice-to-beat incentive that goes with it to St. Benilde, fell to No. 4 and forged a dangerous early showdown with the latter at 8 p.m. tonight.
No. 2 Arellano U clashes with No. 3 LPU in the other Final Four pairing at 6 p.m.
“During the eligibility meeting, San Beda and Lyceum requested that they submit their eligibility requirements in January, but we told them they run the risk of forfeiting their games if there are players who will be found to be ineligible later on,” said Cayco.
“And then San Beda wrote us that they have discovered one of their players failed to make the eligibility requirements so they are voluntarily forfeiting the games where the player played,” he added.
San Beda fell into a three-way tie with EAC and Mapua at No. 4 but mercifully emerged with the highest goal differential of 1 as against the latter two’s -9 and -13, respectively, to clinch No. 4.
The Juniors’ Final Four also starts today with No. 1 CSB-LSGH battling No. 4 AU at 2 p.m. and No. 2 San Beda tangling with No. 3 Letran at 4 p.m., with the top two seeds needing just a win to advance to the best-of-three finals unfurling on Friday.
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