PRESS RELEASE
Spikers from the South took center stage as Western Visayas and Central Visayas stormed to their second victories over separate rivals Tuesday to close in on the semifinals of the Shakey’s Girls’ Volleyball League Season 11 Tournament of Champions at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

Western Visayas, represented by Central Philippine University, dispatched Central Luzon’s Angeles University Foundation, 25-14, 25-19, to go 2-0 in Pool A while Central Visayas bets University of San Jose-Recoletos demolished Eastern Visayas’ Leyte National High School, 25-9, 25-14, for the lead in Pool B of the five-day event sponsored by Shakey’s and organized by Metro Sports.

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Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richie Garcia (center), Shakey’s PR and events officer Jam Evaristo (right) and Philippine Volleyball Federation president Karl Chan prepare to make the ceremonial serve kicking off the Shakey’s Girls Volley League Season 11 Tournament of Champions at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium Monday.

Roma Joy Doromal punched in 10 kills and one block as WVI bucked the absence of injured hitter Princess Anne Robles (sprain) to follow up its 26-28, 25-17, 25-12 drubbing of guest team Victoria, Australia last Monday.

“We missed our number one spiker (Robles) but fortunately everyone stepped up,” said WVI coach Jeffrey Alcarde said in Piilipino.

With Doromal doing the damage, WVI seized a 17-8 lead against CLU en route to taking the first set. The Iloilo-based volleybelles flirted with disaster in the second frame and trailed, 10-14, but woke up in time to secure the set and the match.

WVI joined defending champion NCR at the top of Pool A of the tournament backed by Mikasa, Asics, Tune Hotel, Burlington, BioFresh, Food Health and Science Magazine. The Hope Christian-bannered NCR picked up its second win at the expense of Central Luzon, 25-18, 25-23, to sweep its busy Monday schedule.

Central Visayas enjoyed the top view in Pool B with its straight-set disposal of its rivals from Tacloban. The Cebu-based spikers earlier nipped Mindanao’s Ateneo de Davao, 25-19, 25-18.

Therese Rae Ramas paced CVI with five kills, one block and one ace while Paula Marie Maninang and Rica Jane Rivera chipped in six and five hits, respectively.

Victoria of Australia bounced back from its three-set setback to Western Visayas Monday night as it repulsed Northern Luzon’s Baguio City National High School, 25-14, 20-25, 25-19, to stay in the semifinal race.

With a 1-1 card, however, and with NCR and Western Visayas posting 2-0 slates, the Aussies will need to sweep their last two games and hope either one from the unbeaten joint leaders drop their last two matches to advance.

Victoria resumes its bid today against NCR then closes out its elims assignment against Central Luzon’s Angeles University Foundation Thursday.

New Zealand, on the other hand, is well on its way to the semis after a straight-set 25-17, 25-12 win over Southern Luzon’s La Salle-Lipa. The Kiwis are playing the Mindanao champs Ateneo de Davao at presstime and will take on the fancied Univ. of San Jose-Recoletos spikers from Central Visayas Thursday.

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