The University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses broke into the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference semis after dispelling the College of Saint Benilde Lady Blazers, 26-24, 29-27, 25-17, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
UST allowed a 7-0 lead dissipate in the first set as Benilde capitalized on their opponents’ serve reception woes. The Lady Blazers eventually forced a 24-all deadlock thanks to a Mia Pablo hit, but back-to-back Benilde errors allowed the Tigresses to escape with the early lead.
The second frame went down-the-wire again as the Tigresses let a 21-23 lead slip for Benilde to force another long deuce. The Lady Blazers almost had the set, taking a 27-26 lead after consecutive Arianne Daguil kills. After a Chelsea Umali service error, the Lady Blazers fell down the same path of wastefulness as three giveaways ended the second set.
UST’s bench eventually put the third frame out of reach after sprinting ahead 15-10. According to UST assistant coach Ian Fernandez, the Tigresses needed to power through their early daze.
“Parang sabay nga sa panahon ‘yung laro namin noong una; gloomy. Medyo kinailangan namin sila sabihan na hindi pwedeng maminigay kami nang sobrang daming chance sa kalaban na makabawi,” said Fernandez, who sat in for head coach Kungfu Reyes.
Rookie Ysabel Jimenez and second-year winger Milena Alessandrini each provided 13 points while Eya Laura managed 11 markers even while hampered with a right shoulder injury.
The Tigresses (5-0) face Adamson (3-0) next Saturday at the same venue.
Pablo led the Lady Blazers with 14 markers while Klarisa Abriam and Daguil tallie 11 points, each.
CSB (1-3) tries to keep their semis hopes alive against UP (2-1) on Wednesday also at the same venue.
UST (3) – Alessandrini 13, Jimenez 13, Laure 11, Francisco 9, Galdones 4, Vicotria 3, Galanza 2, Tuazon 2, Camaligan 1, Viray 1, Bicar 0, Sandoval 0, Delerio (L), Martin (L)
CSB (0) – Pablo 14, Abriam 11, Daguil 11, Cardiene 3, Gamit 3, Umali 3, Lai 2, Miranda 1, Cui 0, Sulit (L), Torres (L)