Southern Luzon racked up two victories, including a thriller of a three-setter over fancied National Capital Region, 25-22, 23-25, 32-30, to clinch the first semifinal berth in the Shakey’s Girls’ Volleyball League Season 13 national finals at the Astrodome last Tuesday.
Composed of the De La Salle-Lipa spikers, Southern Luzon, led by skipper Janel Maraguinot, Jewel Encarnacion, Justine Jazareno and Mary Bautista, first trounced Northern Mindanao, 25-18, 25-14, then displayed awesome form and staying power to outlast NCR champion National U, including in the back-and-forth decider.
Counting their scrambling 25-16, 24-26, 25-21 win over Central Visayas Monday, the SLU squad swept the four-team Pool B and booked the first slot in the crossover semis of the two-group finals featuring the eight regional winners of the annual event sponsored by Shakey’s, which revived the sport in 2003.
NCR, which earlier ripped Northern Mindanao, dropped to 1-1 and must hurdle its last game against Central Visayas to nail the other semis berth in their side.
Defending champion Western Visayas and Southern Mindanao took the two semis slots in the Pool A with a sweep of their first two games in the event organized by Metro Sports headed by Freddie Infante and backed by Asics, Mikasa and My Phone.
Western Visayas, represented by Central Philippine U headed by Princess Robles, Julie Ann Robles and Claudine Troncoso, dominated Eastern Visayas, 25-18, 25-17, while Southern Mindanao, led by Lycha Ebon and Georgie Loreto, thwarted Northern Luzon, 25-18, 25-22. EV and NL bowed out of the race with 0-2 cards.
Meanwhile, Western Visayas and Southern Mindanao, represented by Davao City National High School, were disputing the top spot in Pool A at presstime with the winner taking on the No. 2 team in Pool B and the loser facing Pool B topnotcher Southern Luzon in today’s (Thursday) crossover semis.
The Final Four is set at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. with the finals to start at 4 p.m., also today, according to the tournament director Johanz Buenvenida, also of Metro Sports.