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Chiefs begin defense of NCAA volley crown

Arellano University starts its title-retention bid as it clashes with Mapua even as San Sebastian opens its campaign against Emilio Aguinaldo sans three-time league MVP Grethcel Soltones at the start of the 93rd NCAA volleyball tournament at the Filoil Arena in San Juan City today.
The Lady Chiefs will be parading an almost intact lineup spearheaded by Regine Anne Arocha, Necole Ebuen, Andrea Marzan and Jovielyn Prado as they tangle with the Lady Cardinals set at 1:30 p.m. while the Lady Stags will play the whole season with just nine players starting with the 12-noon duel with the Lady Generals.
AU, coached by Obet Javier, will try to ride on its magical season last year when they defied the odds and beat in three games a San Sebastian team that swept its way to the finals to claim the former’s second crown.
This time though, AU will be the more favored team compared to SSC, which will be left with just nine players-- including an injured Julian Tiangco, who is expected to take up a bigger role following the departure of the veterans, but hurt her knee recently.
SSC coach Roger Gorayeb, who is expected to rely heavily on veterans Alyssa Eroa, Vira May Guillema, Joyce Sta. Rita and Dangie Encarnacion, however, remains confident of their chances.
“We’re still a fighting team but we have to avoid injuries,” said Gorayeb.
Gorayeb also said they have moved on from last year’s heartbreak.
“That’s already a thing of the past and we’re already looking at the future,” he said. “In fact, after this year, we have four or five recruits coming in and we expect them to really make a significant impact on the team right away.”

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