NBA
Arellano bags first ever NCAA women’s volley crown
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - January 23, 2015 - 3:13pm

MANILA, Philippines – The first time is the sweetest.

Arellano University turned back a feisty San Sebastian side, 25-23, 25-19, 26-24, on Friday to capture its first ever women's volleyball title in the 90th NCAA tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.

Earlier, Perpetual Help likewise brought out the broom and swept Lyceum with a 25-15, 25-23, 25-19 to seal the title and emerged the second most titled high school team with seven crowns, next only to San Sebastian's 15.

Over at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, San Beda routed Lyceum, 4-0, to complete a five-peat feat in football.

Jay Shaun Soberano opened up the scoring on the 38th minute before Miguel Caindec and a brace by Jim Ashley Flores delivered the decisive blows in the second half.

Trailing 23-24 in the third set, the Lady Chiefs seized the final three points on a kill by Menchie Tubiera, a spike by San Sebastian's Gretchel Soltones that went long, and another kill by Danna Henson to complete a two-game sweep of the series.

And then it was all pandemonium as Arellano U celebrated wildly by diving onto the floor, ecstatic that they finally won the big one after coming a set close to snaring it before losing to last year's winner Perpetual Help.

"This is a sweet, sweet victory for us and the school and also historic because this is our first title," said Arellano coach Roberto Javier.

The power-hitting Tubiera ended up with a match-best 18 hits, including 16 on kills to emerge the Finals MVP.

It looked like the match will be extended to another set just like last Wednesday's series opener that Arellano eventually won, 25-18, 25-15, 20-25, 25-19, as San Sebastian seized a 24-23 lead on a Jovielyn Prado service error.

It was not meant to be as the Lady Chiefs hung tough enough to hold on to the set, the win and its precious first championship, which they dedicated to the mammoth Arellano crowd led by its president Jose Cayco, athletic director Val Cayco and Management Committee representative Peter Cayco.

Ricky Marcos paced the Junior Altas, who took Game One, 25-19, 25-19, 25-11, with 13 hits, while Jody Margaux Severo scattered 11.

Marcos was eventually named the Finals MVP.

"The team showed heart the whole season," said Perpetual Help coach Sandy Rieta, who steered the Las Pinas-based school to its first championship since claiming a back-to-back four years ago.

ARELLANO ARELLANO U ARELLANO UNIVERSITY DANNA HENSON GAME ONE GRETCHEL SOLTONES JAY SHAUN SOBERANO JIM ASHLEY FLORES LADY CHIEFS PERPETUAL HELP SAN SEBASTIAN
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