Shrugging off a late speed bump, the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses outlasted the De La Salle–College of Saint Benilde Lady Blazers in five sets, 21-25, 25-22, 25-19, 26-24, 15-12, in the 2019 PVL Collegiate Conference, Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
“Maganda yung palitan ng laro. Talagang neck-to-neck ang labanan namin kasi malalaki rin yung kabila. Sa amin naman, mga bata talaga yung sa amin bukod kay EJ [Laure]. So ang importante ay kung paano magre-react in certain scenarios,” UST head coach Kungfu Reyes said.
“At least, nakikita mo na yung full potential ng team kahit na composed of rookies and sophomores yung team namin,” he added.
Locked at 11 in the fifth set, Imee Hernandez and Mafe Galanza connived for a quick attack. EJ Laure then roofed a Lady Blazer to give UST breathing room, 13-11.
Though Gayle Pascual tried to incite a resurgence for St. Benilde with a hit of her own, Hernandez hammered down another quick. Rachelle Roldan then nailed the final blow to lift UST to a 2-0 slate.
Middle blocker Hernandez finished with a game-high 20 points, built on 16 attacks and three kill blocks.
Roldan showed her all-around wares. She scattered 17 markers — 13 attacks and four aces — to go along with 11 excellent digs and 10 excellent receptions. KC Galdones chipped 15 markers, while Laure poured in 13 points, including four of her team’s nine blocks, laced with 11 excellent digs.
UST setter Mafe Galanza tossed 15 excellent sets to put 10 of her attackers on the scoring column.
Klarisa Abriam topped St. Benilde with 14 markers off 12 attacks and two kill blocks.
Pascual and Michelle Gamit contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively. The former had 10 attacks, while the latter netted four kill blocks.
Mycah Go supplemented a triple-double of 10 points, 12 excellent digs and 22 excellent receptions for the Lady Blazers, who slumped to an even 1-1 slate.
UST next face the Technological Institute of the Philippines Lady Engineers on Sunday, September 1. Meanwhile, St. Benilde take on the Arellano Lady Chiefs on Saturday, September 7. Both matches will be played at the same venue.