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DLSU-D fends off elimination, Benilde; secures spot in Top Eight

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The De La Salle University – Dasamariñas (DLSU-D) Lady Patriots barged their way into the next round of the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference by netting a suprising upset against the College of Saint Benilde (CSB) Lady Blazers in five sets, 25-19, 25-21, 15-25, 18-25, 16-14 at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

Heading into the match, the Caviteñas were in a heated race with the TIP Lady Engineers and SSC-R Lady Stags for the final spot in the next round of eliminations as the trio were tied with identical 1-3 records heading into the weekend. With both SSC and TIP losing their final matches, DLSU’s clutch win gives them the spot.

The Lady Patriots worked their offense marvelously early in the match. Down 12-7 in the first set, the Lady Patriots slowly gained possession, taking the lead at 17-16 and never looked back. In the second frame, Benilde’s Janine Navarro got her team off to an 11-8 advantage. However, another La Salle comeback followed with the Lady Patriots rattling off an 8-1 run for a 16-12 lead spearheaded by terrific serving from Gyzelle Sy. Benilde got frisky and forced a 20-all tie which the Lady Patriots easily broke through and took the set commandingly through focused blocking.

With the threat of entering the next round at the bottom of the standings, the squad from Taft rallied and took the third and fourth set convincingly through Janine Navarro and Jeanette Panaga’s offensively onslaught to force a fifth set.

Both teams exchanged share of the lead throughout the final frame with the Lady Patriots taking the first stab at 4-2. With their reception momentarily wavering, La Salle surrendered their advantage and allowed CSB the luxury of an 11-8 lead. From there, Benilde’s errors helped La Salle climb back and retake the lead at 12-11. Then, both teams exchanged points and forced a deuce which Yongco and Maribeth Lara win for their team with back-to-back kills.

Although their blocking and attacking worked wonders for them throughout the match, La Salle’s service reception and propensity to cough up errors cost them a lot of crucial points. Dasma’s head coach, Raymond Ramirez acknowledges this, saying “kailangan pa namin ayusin ‘yung service receive namin pati ‘yung mga errors. Ayoon ‘yung naging problema namin noong third and fourth set at saka puro nakasimangot na mga players ko. Sabi ko enjoyin lang nila, laruin niyo. Buti na lang nanalo.”

Dasma’s opposite hitter, Lara delivered a team-high 17 points, Dadang dished out 12 markers, while Yongco and Cherry Nunag had 11 and 10 points respectively.

Open hitter, Janine Navarro topped the match with 18 points while Jeanette Panaga finished with 16 points for the Lady Blazers who lost their third straight match, all lasting five sets.

La Salle will face the NU Lady Bulldogs on Saturday, August 15 to kick off their second round campaign. Benilde, on the other hand, CSB will square offf with the FEU Lady Tamaraws on Sunday, August 16.

The Scores:

DLSU-D (3) – Lara 17, Dadang 12, Yongco 11, Nunag 10, Delfin 9, Sy 5, Navidad 3, Amutan (L), Bartolazo (L)

CSB (2) – Navarro 18, Panaga 16, Torres 11, Dolorito 7, Musa 6, Cheng 4, Austero 1, Ramos 1, Enclona (L)

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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