SLU Lady Navigators sneak past UC-A A +A
Sunday, September 16, 2012
SAINT Louis University leaned on the heroics of rookies Elaine Daniel and Colleen Rossi to escape a gritty University of the Cordilleras in women’s volleyball of the 26th Baguio-Benguet Educational Athletic League.
The two former Palarong Pambansa stalwart provided the much needed point especially in the fifth set to eke put 23-25, 25-17, 25-14, 21-25 at the SLU Burgos Gym Saturday morning.
"Grabe ang pinakitang puso lalo na nung fifth set,” SLU coach Gerard Peralta said, especially referring to his precious find, Daniel, the first year off Baguio City National High School.
Daniel accounted for the crucial spike for a winner to lift SLU to an 11-8 lead in the fifth set. Then she made it 12-9 as the Navigators cruised to their fifth win and a possible sweep Sunday when they face the defending champion University of Baguio at the Cordillera Career Development College in Buyagan, La Trinidad.
"Talagang pipilitin namin para mabiyak ang 10-years na paghihintay," said the former SLU Navigator who helped steer the SLU men's volleyball team to two titles during his stay in the later part of the first decade of 2000s.
"We are hoping to get it this year. Sana," said an elated SLU coach Gerard Peralta after overcoming one of the two stumbling blocks to the crown.
UC finished the eliminations with a 5-1 win-loss slate and a possible second finish if UB losses to SLU. An SLU win would automatically give them the second spot, but an SLU defeat in three sets could propel UB to the top with the Navigators slipping to third spot. A five set win by UB could give UC the first spot with SLU at second and UB at third.
Last year, UC finished third after falling to SLU in four sets in the eliminations, only to fall twice to UB in the finals in two games.
"Sana eto na. Mahabahabang panahon din ang paghihintay," said SLU athletic director Henry Fuentes, who last led the SLU Lady Navigators to the title in 2001.
In 2002, he lost to UB with Madonna Rimando at the helm and lost twice.
Then UC made it six-peat with Cindy Benitez accounting for five of them. The glory days of the Jaguars under former Philippine team standout Yul Benosa ended when Clarissa Tolentino and Ghisele Agudia, the remnant of Benitez's crew that included Michelle Remo, her co-employee at the Benguet Electric Cooperative, graduated in 2010.
Tolentino is now the coach of the UC women's volleyball team. UB this late of the elimination has a dim chance of making it past SLU with top player Mae Madulid sidelined due to injury. She suffered an injury in the first set of their game against UC last Sunday at the CCDC gym.
"Mahirap eto with Mae nasa sideline. Sana makabalik na siya ng mas maaga," said UB coach Jun Nisperos as he faces another uphill battle in the event, a situation he is familiar with and has overcome in the past. (Roderick Osis)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 17, 2012.