MVP candidates shine

In Photo: College of Saint Benilde’s Rachel Anne Austero unleashes a no-fear spike against Jose Rizal University’s Christine Kassandra Ebuenga and Marcy Grace Rivera.

SAN BEDA’S Cesca Racraquin and Jose Rizal University’s (JRU) Shola Alvarez pulled off Most Valuable Player (MVP)-like performances to power their schools to rousing victories on Wednesday in Season 93 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

Racraquin unloaded 26 points as the Lady Red Spikers booked another come-from-behind win, this time over the Lyceum of the Philippines University Lady Pirates, 22-25, 19-25, 25-11, 25-17, 15-7.

The victory extended San Beda’s winning run to six matches and set up the Lady Red Spikers for their acid test of a match against the Arellano University Lady Chiefs, also unbeaten in six games, on Friday.

The Rookie of the Year last season also made 20 spikes and six aces to give San Beda its best start in NCAA women’s volleyball history.

Alvarez, on the other hand, exploded with 21 points as the Lady Bombers shocked College of Saint Benilde, 25-21, 25-22, 25-21, to keep their Final Four bid alive.

Alvarez nailed 20 kills for 21 points and also flashed impressive defensive skills with 13 digs and eight receptions.

Her stellar performance rewarded JRU a share of fifth spot with the Lady Blazers on a 3-3 won-lost record, half-a-game behind the No.4 San Sebastian Lady Stags (3-2).

Rookie Dolly Grace Versoza chipped in 16 points for JRU, which is close to making the Final Four for the first time since the school rejoined the event in 2008.

“Making the Final Four is a goal for us and we believe in ourselves that we will,” said JRU Coach Mia Tioseco, whose wards will be up against Mapua (0-5), Letran (2-3) and Lyceum of the Philippines University (1-5) next.

In the men’s division, reigning titlist Saint Benilde routed JRU, 25-16, 25-17, 25-20, to improve to joint No. 2 with Arellano University with a 5-1 record. University of Perpetual Help leads the way with a pristine 6-0 card.



Image credits: Nonoy Lacza


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