Dethroned: Lady Patriots kneel to NCBA in NCRAA 25th championship, 0-3

The 2017’s National Capital Region Universities and Colleges of Luzon Athletic Association (NCRUCLAA) champions DLSU-D Lady Patriots succumbed to the National College of Business and Arts (NCBA) Lady Wildcats in a straight-set loss, 23-25, 22-25, 23-25, in the women’s volleyball championship of the 25th National Capital Region Athletics Association (NCRAA) held on May 24  at the Technical Institute of the Philippines – Manila gymnasium.

Veteran Lady Patriots Mara Galicia and middle blocker Eunice Castillo led the charge for the Patriots. Mythical six member Galicia scored 15 points from 12 attacks and three aces while Castillo had 11 points from seven attacks, three blocks, and an ace.

Though they led 18-13 in the first set, Patriots’ momentum collapsed via consecutive errors that handed freebies to the Quezon City-based squad, 18-15.

The Lady Wildcats took advantage of DLSU-D’s shaky defense as Most Valuable Player (MVP) Michelle Gerona bombed three consecutive aces to steal the lead, 19-18. The scores seesawed afterwards but NCBA grabbed the first set courtesy of Gerona’s spike, 25-23.

The Lady Patriots headed to the second frame with a six-point lead, 19-14, but NCBA’s resiliency shone after avenging with a 5-0 run to tie the set at 19-all.

Alarmed by NCBA’s comeback, team captain Galicia unleashed back-to-back spikes to improve to 21-20 but the Lady Wildcat’s fighting spirit rose as they stole the second set via 4-1 run, 22-25.  

Hoping to extend the game, DLSU-D doubled their effort in the third canto after leading as much as five points at the hands of Castillo, Galicia, and Yasha Parohinog, 21-16. But the Patriot spikers slipped again in the final moments of the canto as they gave points to NCBA via errors, 21-20.

DLSU-D led by as much as 10 in the third canto, 18-8. But despite being inches away to a comeback and a third-set victory, 23-21, DLSU-D committed a storm of errors that dropped the chance to defend the crown. NCBA’s captain Gerona provided a much-needed morale boost for NCBA. As the Patriots were rattled with errors, the Lady Wildcats grabbed the opportunity—and the championship title, 23-25.