QUEZON CITY – The elimination round of the 15th National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) Volleyball tournaments drew to a close Monday (February 29) at the New Era University Gym with the defending champions Rizal Technological University and Centro Escolar University punching their tickets to the semifinals in contrasting fashion. The semifinals will be held this Wednesday (March 2) at the same venue starting at 10:00 AM.
CEU needed five sets to eliminate AMA University and capture the fourth and final seeding in the Men’s Division, 23-25, 25-17, 23-25, 31-29 and 15-9. Both teams entered the game tied at 1-3.
After the Scorpions forced a fifth set after taking the highly-emotional fourth set, it was all-CEU from there they scored the set’s first four points and never looked back. “This is a new team because I only have four players from the team that won last year but we promise that we will give it a good fight in the semifinals,” said Coach Mark Anthony Santos.
Waiting for the Scorpions is guest team Philippine Merchant Marine School, which earned the top seeding by virtue of a 25-22, 17-25, 25-17 and 25-22 drubbing of the RTU Blue Thunder. The Mariners emerged undefeated in five matches while the now 4-1 RTU will face third seed New Era University (3-2).
In contrast, the Lady Thunder halted the Lady Scorpions in a rematch of last year’s championship series, 25-12, 21-25, 25-15 and 26-24. RTU thus tabbed the top seed in the Women’s Division at 5-0 while CEU took the second spot at 4-1.
*Rizal Tech 6-0
*Centro Escolar 5-1
New Era 2-4
Saint Clare 1-5
Philippine Christian 0-5
*Rizal Tech 4-1
*New Era 3-2
*Centro Escolar 2-3
Philippine Christian 0-5
The race for the final two berths in the Women’s Division tightened after the day’s first match. AMA helped their own cause by first clipping a gritty Saint Clare College of Caloocan, 25-20, 28-26 and 25-23.
The Lady Titans had to wait hours for the day’s fifth and final match to decide their destiny. Good news did come as the PMMS Lady Mariners eliminated the New Era Huntresses, 25-18, 25-22 and 25-20 thus giving the Las Pinas City-based side the third seeding while towing along the fourth seed Lady Titans.
The semifinal round will be a straight knockout between the first and fourth seed while the second and third seed clash in the other pairing. The championship series will a best-of-three affair.