Defending champions College of Saint Benilde Lady Blazers shook off opening-frame setback to turn back a solid University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Lady Altas in four sets, 17-25, 25-20, 26-24, 25-17, Monday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Perps stunned the reigning titlist in the first set as they went for every ball, denying the latter with point-clinching kills. The Lady Altas, on the other hand, converted on their own chances.
Lady Blazers team captain Jeanette Panaga rued their underwhelming performance in the first set. She said, “Siguro nanibago kami sa game, sa crowd. Mas marami yung errors kaysa sa gawa namin.”
The skipper also shared that head coach Macky Cariño kept on challenging the girls and they quickly responded.
Benilde leaned on the first ball deliveries to take the second and third sets. Most of the team’s 15 service aces came in the said frames.
The Lady Blazers also pulled improved floor defense and transition especially in that third set to get to set point at 24-22. Lady Altas’ wing spiker Jamela Suyat kept her team with her attacks, but a service error from Coleen Bravo and an ace off Panaga clinched the set for the Taft-based squad.
From there, the reigning queens piled up the points in the fourth set and led by as much as 10, 15-5, but a string of errors from Benilde kept the Lady Altas in the match.
However, Perpetual had their own miseries both in reception and on the offense. Ranya Musa waxed hot to finish the match, getting most of her 15 points in the frame. It was the third-year’s back-to-back hits that gave the win for the Blazers.
Skipper Panaga had 14 points, 8 coming from attacks. New setter Pauline Cardiente got a decent outing with 28 excellent sets.
Middle hitter Lourdes Clemente led the Lady Altas with 13 markers from 8 attacks and two blocks.
CSB (3) – Musa 15, Panaga 14, Dolorito 8, Austero 7, Cardiente 5, Sulit 2, Enginco 1, Santillian 1, Ventura 0, Avila 0, Torres L, Lim L
UPHSD (1) – Clemente 13, Suyat 9, Imbo 7, Verzosa 5, Tripoli 4, Gual 4, Bravo 3, Rosal 3, Umandal 1, Medalla L, Coching L