Letran dashes Arellano U’s Final Four hopes with hard-earned, 5-set win

Letran dashes Arellano U’s Final Four hopes with hard-earned, 5-set win

Standings W L
*Benilde 8 0
*Perpetual 7 1
*Mapua 6 2
*LPU 6 3
Letran 5 4
Arellano 4 4
SSC-R 3 6
EAC 1 7
JRU 1 7
San Beda 1 8
*Final Four

Games Sunday:
(San Andres Sports Complex)
8:30 a.m. – Perpetual vs Mapua (Men)
12 noon – Perpetual vs Mapua (Women)
2 p.m. – Benilde vs JRU (Women)
4:30 p.m. – Benilde vs JRU (Men)

MANILA — With nothing much to gain but as an executioner name tag, Letran sailed past four-time NCAA women’s volleyball defending champion and hard-fighting Arellano University, 21-25, 25-16, 21-25, 25-20, 15-10 at the San Andres Sports Complex that all but snuffed whatever hopes the Lady Chiefs had of a Final Four appearance.

The loss was the Lady Chiefs’ fourth in eight matches, ending in the process an impressive streak of eight straight Final Four appearances which started in 2012.

It was a huge victory for Letran (5-4) and bigger still for its Intramuros neighbors Mapua (6-2) and Lyceum of the Philippines University (6-3) as it gave them a free ride to the Final Four.

Top notchers in defending champion College of Saint Benilde (8-0) and University of Perpetual Help System Dalta (7-1) are already secured with slots in the next round.

With the Lady Blazers a win away from advancing to the Finals, the format to be used remains hanging in the balance. Benilde will go for the nine-match sweep against Jose Rizal University at 2 p.m. today.

Cha Cuñada left everything on the floor in her final game for the Lady Knights, who finished the season with a 5-4 record, taking charge in the deciding set.

Cuñada, who starred in Letran’s beach volleyball championship that ended a 20-year drought last January, came through with 15 points, including three service aces, 21 digs, and eight receptions.

Rookie Judiel Nitura and Lea Tapang also scored 15 points while setter Natalie Estreller had three blocks and three service aces to finish with nine points and tossed in 19 excellent sets for the Lady Knights.

Libero Lara Mae Silva, who paired with Cuñada for the beach volleyball crown, collected 20 digs and 17 receptions.

Later, KJ Dionisio and Kath Santos teamed up for 30 points as San Sebastian ended its season with three consecutive wins capped by a 25-18, 25-21, 25-20 romp of fellow also-ran San Beda.

Libero Jewelle Bermillo had 16 digs and 11 receptions, while playmaker Vea Sison fired three service aces and tossed in 16 excellent sets in their final collegiate game for the Lady Stags.

In men’s action, Arellano improved to 7-1 with a 25-15, 25-19, 25-22 sweep of Letran.

Carl Berdal had 14-of-24 spikes to finish with 17 points and collected nine digs, while Arman Berdal had three service aces to finish with 13 points and logged 12 receptions as the second-running Chiefs extended their win streak to five matches.

The Knights, who drew 10 points from Justine Alejandro, bowed out of contention with their fifth loss in nine matches.

Moming Padillon and Laika Tudlasan each had 15 points while Trina Abay and Robbie Matawaran had 10 points apiece for the Lady Chiefs.

Trisha Paras had eight points, including two blocks, in her swan song for the Lady Red Spikers, who ended their campaign with a 1-8 card.

Arellano wraps up its season against Emilio Aguinaldo College on Tuesday.

(Amado Inigo/MTVN)

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