Mapua University showed grit in another five-setter grind to outhustle San Beda University, 23-25, 35-33, 25-22, 21-25, 16-14, Sunday in the Shakey’s Super League Collegiate Pre-season Championship at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
The Lady Cardinals turned to rookie Nadine Berces to save a match point before Alyanna Ong flexed her blocking prowess to clinch Mapua’s first win in Pool A of the tournament organized by Athletic Events and Sports Management, Inc.
Mapua tied University of the East, which handed the Lady Cardinals a painful five-set defeat last September 24, with identical 1-1 win-loss records.
“The girls showed great character in this game. We had some lapses down the stretch but in the end, they just refused to give up,” said Mapua coach Clarence Esteban.
Berces forced a deuce in the fifth set on an off-speed hit after Lady Red Spikers freshman Angel Habacon pushed San Beda at match point.
A costly error by the Lady Red Spikers gave the Lady Cardinals the match point advantage before Ong sealed the grueling two-hour, 32-minute duel with a kill block on Habacon’s spike attempt.
Chenie Batac and Angelie Manalo led Mapua’s offense with 22 and 20 points, respectively. Ong had 15 points while Berces got 10 markers.
San Beda, which got 17 points from Kleineross Abraham and 15 from Habacon, remained winless in two outings.Meanwhile, Arellano University bounced back from an opening day loss with a morale-boosting 25-21, 25-21, 25-17 crushing of debuting Jose Rizal University in Pool C.
Laika Tudlasan waxed hot on offense with 20 points including 14 in the second set as the Lady Chiefs evened its record to 1-1.
Catherine Domasig and Kristine Adante combined for 21 markers for Arellano, which rebounded from a straight sets loss to Ateneo de Manila University last Saturday.
Karyla Jasareno led the Lady Bombers with 10 points.