QUEZON CITY – It took five sets over two hours but it hardly mattered to those involved as De La Salle University-Dasmarinas crushed Technological Institute of the Philippines to cart away the National Capital Region Universities and Colleges of Luzon Athletic Association (NCRUCLAA) Women’s Volleyball championship Saturday morning (April 8) at the National College of Business and Arts Gym in Fairview. The Lady Patriots survived the war of attrition with final scores of 25-16, 22-25, 24-26, 25-21 and 18-16.
The match was loaded with drama up to the very end. TIP captain Sheeka Espinosa scored on a powerful smash to put the Lady Engineers ahead in the fourth set, 16-15, but DLSU-D coach Joven Racelis immediately stormed the line judge while vehemently pointing to the baseline where he claimed the ball landed out of bounds.
Coach Racelis was given a caution and play resumed but TIP could not capitalize as they gave up the next point to the Lady Patriots who then scored two more to end the match on a spike by Myell Joy Pasco that hit the floor in between two Lady Engineers. The first four sets were no different.
After piercing the Lady Engineers’ veil of invincibility in Game Two in straight sets, 25-22, 25-16 and 25-14, momentum clearly shifted to the Lady Patriots as they bucked a slow first set start to lead for the first time, 12-11, and never looked back. However, TIP would not give up without a fight.
It could have easily been a sweep for DLSU-D if not for their late collapses in the second and third sets. The Lady Engineers displayed the stuff that made them to win their first eight matches, including the championship series opener, 25-13, 21-25, 25-23 and 25-22.
The extended length it took to finish the second and third sets began to test both teams’ conditioning. By the time DLSU-D seized the upper hand with back-to-back scores, 18-17, they displayed character by avoiding another late set collapse for the match’s major turning point and setting the stage for the fifth set.
Lady Patriots captain Mara Allyza Galicia was named as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. She was joined in the Mythical Six by teammates Celia Cindy Amutan and Myka Tiangco, TIP’s Alyssa Gayle Layug and Eden Faith Maturan and Zairyll Sky Chavez of Rizal Technological University.
Other members of the champion team are Eunice Castillo, Frances Bartolazo, Yasmin Shane Parohinog, Justine Navidad, Cleo Pamienta, Mica Alarcon and Basilyn Delfin. Commissioner Roberto Celso and NCRUCLAA officials Francisco Quinio of NCBA and Coach Roseller “Boy” Dalistan of Philippine School of Business Administration handed out the trophies to the winners.
The conclusion of the Women’s Volleyball tournament also brings to a close the successful first season of the NCRUCLAA. The league’s officials are already laying the foundation for a bigger and improved second season in the coming academic year.