Chamberlaine Cuñada came through with a career-defining game as Colegio de San Juan de Letran outlasted Lyceum of the Philippines University, 26-28, 27-25, 16-25, 25-19, 16-14, strengthening its Final Four bid in Season 95 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) women’s volleyball tournament on Friday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Sophomore spiker Cuñada notched a career-high 28 points built on 24 attacks, three blocks and an ace to lift the Lady Knights to a share of No. 4 with San Beda University that is holding a similar 3-2 record.
Letran also posted its first back-to-back triumphs this season, surpassing its two-win performance last year.
“This victory is huge for us because we are getting closer to making it to the top four,” said Letran head coach Mike Inoferio.
Rookie hitter Julienne Castro pumped in 17 points while veteran setter Charm Simborio orchestrated the Intramuros-based team’s assault with 17 excellent sets and libero Julia Angeles added 14 digs including in the last set.
Cuñada maneuvered Letran to a two-set deadlock before Castro, Simborio and Kathleen Dela Cruz delivered in the fifth frame.
Down 11-14, the trio sparked the Lady Knights’ game-winning five-point swing capped by Alexandra Rafael’s attack error.
Rafael and Monica Sevilla had 17 points apiece to lead three other twin-digit scorers but the Lady Pirates’ balanced offense was not able to save them from sinking to 2-4 for a share of No. 6 with Jose Rizal University.
Ciarnelle Wanta and Mary Joy Onofre posted 14 points each while Jacqueline Acuña had 10 markers in the loss.
In the men’s side, Letran finally scored a breakthrough victory after tripping Lyceum, 19-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-22, behind Brylle Novo and Michael Doria.
Novo notched 17 points on 16 spikes and an ace while Doria registered 17 markers on 14 hits, two blocks and an ace to end the Knights’ four-game losing start.
Mhel Gabuyo added 10 points and Jaypaul Tabbada contributed 26 excellent sets in the win.
Kier Tibayan and Josue Velasco had 13 points each for the Pirates, who fell to the cellar with a 1-5 slate.
Letran completed a sweep of the game day as the Squires thrashed the Junior Pirates, 25-16, 25-21, 25-18.