Busy NCAA holidays

  • Written by Theodore Jurado
  • Published in Volleyball
  • Read: 355

IT was a busy holiday for the 10 teams preparing for the NCAA women’s volleyball tournament which
blasts off on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Except for a couple of days of Christmas and New Year break, Arellano University is on a hard
grind as it determined to vie for a second straight championship and the third in the past four
With a battle-tested roster, the Chiefs are tipped to win behind veterans Jovie Prado, Regine
Arocha, Andrea Marzan, Anne Esguerra, newcomer Necole Ebuen and setter Rhea Ramirez.
Prado, who have been impressive in off-season leagues, was last season’s Finals MVP for
The Lady Chiefs’ new liberos Faye Flores and Cherry Ann Buemia will have a huge void to fill
after the graduation of Eunice Galang and Jonalyn Ibisa.
The rest of the field has a lot of things to work on if they want to unseat Arellano in the
With a league minimum of nine players – and seven available to play – San Sebastian,
runners-up in the last two years, is hard-pressed to end the longest championship drought under coach
Roger Gorayeb.
Koyce Sta. Rita will now be the Lady Stags’ main offensive option with the graduation of MVP
Grethcel Soltones, while Nikka Dalisay, Dangie Encarnacion and Daurene Santos are expected to chip in
on offense.
A middle blocker, Sta. Rita was the team’s No. 1 scorer in last year’s PVL Collegiate
Vira Guillema will orchestrate San Sebastian’s offense while Alyssa Eroa, who is on her final
season, will take care on what she does best in keeping the ball flying on the court.
Now under interim coach Arnold Laniog, College of Saint Benilde hopes to reclaim the throne
it lost last year.
Jeanette Panaga won’t be around after completing her playing eligibility, but the Lady
Blazers boast of a solid roster with Ranya Musa, Rachel Austero, Arianne Daguil and playmaker Pauline
Cardiente leading the charge.
All eyes will be also on St. Benilde’s rookies, as the expectations for transferees Matet
Pablo, Klarissa Abriam and Felicia Cui to deliver are high.
After achieving a breakthrough Final Four appearance last season, San Beda hopes to go
further this season.
Hoping to bring her vast experience from playing in the PVL, last season’s Rookie of the Year
Cesca Racraquin will be the Lady Red Spikers’ heart and soul.
San Beda will also bank on twins Nieza and Ella Viray, middle hitters Yani Espiritu and
Trisha Paras, setter Rebecca Cuevas and libero Justin Marie Buno.
With Macky Cariño now manning the bench, University of Perpetual Help System Dalta hopes to
make a return stint to the Final Four.
Coleen Bravo and Jam Suyat have already graduated, but the Lady Altas have a solid roster
with Lourdes Clemente, Cindy Imbo, Jowie Verzosa, Marijo Medalla and Shyrra Mae Umandal.
 Hoping to set aside the disappointments in the last two years, Lyceum of the Philippines
University hopes to pull through this time around behind Rocelyn Hongria, Christine Miralles, La
Raine Fabay, Cherry Rose Genova and Pia Sarmiento.
Czarina Orros have already graduated while Cherilyn Sindayen, who was with the Lady Pirates
in the PVL, is not in the roster.
Shola Alvarez, Karen Kay Montojo, Dolly Verzosa and Annie Macaraya will banner Jose Rizal
University, as its PVL experience will hopefully result in a semifinals appearance.
Last year’s bottom dwellers Letran, Emilio Aguinaldo College and Mapua are seeking to improve
their respective standings this time around.