by Kristel Satumbaga
Games Tuesday (The Arena, San Juan City)
3:30 p.m. – Perpetual vs Arellano (women’s)
University of Perpetual Help retained its juniors and men’s titles while Arellano University spoiled the Las Pinas school’s early triple crown bid by extending the women’s finals into a decider in NCAA volleyball Friday at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Junior Altas bagged their fifth consecutive crown and 11th overall with a 25-19, 30-28, 25-17 triumph over the Letran Squires while the Altas clinched back-to-back men’s title by surviving pesky College of St. Benilde Blazers, 23-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-23.
Both the Junior Altas and the Altas capped off their campaign with a perfect season that includes a nine-game elimination sweep that propelled them straight to the finals.
Back-to-back Season MVP awardee Joebert Almodiel showed no signs of slowing down as the Cebuano bet paced the Altas with 19 points to also be later adjudged as Finals MVP.
The Altas’ win was also their seventh crown in nine years.
Two-time women’s defending champion Arellano, meanwhile, spoiled the fun for Perpetual after the Lady Chiefs bested the Lady Altas, 23-25, 25-9, 25-18, 22-25, 15-12, to forge a deciding Game 3 on Tuesday.
Reeling from a 21-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-20 Game 1 loss last week, Arellano displayed its usual championship poise to keep its three-peat bid alive.
Princess Bello stepped up in the crunch and finished with 18 points while Season MVP Necole Ebuen fired all her 18 points at the attack line.
The Lady Chiefs also got a big lift from Carla Donato and Regine Arocha, who finished with combined 25 points.