Proving that comeback is real after their Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA) – Regionals loss, the Lady Patriots came back from the pit to clinch the first ever best-of-three National Capital Region Universities and Colleges of Luzon Athletic Association (NCRUCLAA) women’s volleyball championship, 25-16, 22-25, 24-26, 25-21, and 18-16, at the expense of the Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP) Lady Engineers at the final match held at the National College of Business and Arts (NCBA), Fairview, Quezon City, yesterday.
“Tanggap ko naman ‘yong pagkatalo no’ng PRISAA. Preparation kompleto naman kaso lang sa piyesa talaga⎯sa tao kulang… pero hindi namin tinigilan ‘yong ensayo para makarating sa NCRUCLAA finals. So imbis na mamroblema, doon kami sa sagot pumunta⎯sa ensayo. Doon na umiikot ‘yong buhay namin para makuha ‘yong NCRUCLAA [championship]… hindi nga lang madali ‘yong pagtanggap at ‘yong pagbawi,” Patriot volleybelles head coach Joven Racelis shared.
Patriot mythical five member and most valuable player Mara Allyza Galicia unleashed 19 points, highlighted by four points in the third canto that broke away from TIP and saved the green-and-white squad from falling. Meanwhile, middle blocker Eunice Castillo posted 18 points⎯on top of 7 blocks.
Patriots’ graduating libero Celia Cindy Amutan and setter Myka Tiangco also savored a spot in the mythical six.
DLSU-D flew from a 2-1 cushion after nailing the pivotal come-from-behind fourth set and nail-biting fifth. Patriot Myell Pasco outsmarted TIP as she held the two last points of the NCRUCLAA women’s volleyball finals.
Demolishing the Lady Engineers
The match dawned as a back-and-forth game until TIP loosened the screws and attacked with a 4-0 run, 7-11. But DLSU-D came back bigger with a 16-3 surge, 23-14, and buried the Lady Engineers, 25-16.
Repeating the story but ending with a bummer for the Patriots, the Manila-based squad were once again rattled and woke a 12-3 get-go from the four unforced errors of TIP and the Galicia-Castillo-Frances offense that started at 8-14 and wrote 20-17 on the scoreboards. However, the Lady Engineers rebuilt their offense and defense to rise from the deficit and seal the canto, 22-25.
“Tumirik sila no’ng third set then second set… ang problema ay pagod ‘yong bata. Sobrang daming rally. Talo tayo sa height, so naba-block ‘yong spikes, naibabalik sa atin tapos more on rally (sic).” Racelis said.
Stepping on the gas pedal in the third quadrant, DLSU-D enjoyed most of the driver’s seat until 22-21 but committed a series of errors to give the lead to TIP, 22-24. The Animo squad fought and knotted the scores at 24-24 but eventually turned over the set to TIP after, again, executing 2 consecutive errors, 24-26⎯with the last point being a miscommunication error.
Nevertheless, in the fourth set, tied at 15-17, the Animo squad found their groove and ran a 10-4 wave that saved them of getting second place.
The fifth and last set saw 3 deuces before DLSU-D sat in the throne. TIP even lead with 15-16, but the Dasmariñas-based squad gripped until the last scores of 18-16.
Closing their season on a high note, the NCRUCLAA crown concluded the Lady Patriots 2016-2017 year on cloud nine and with a thirst for even more wins in the future.