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Lady Blazers buck setback, upend Lady Bombers

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Tournament favorites College of Saint Benilde Lady Blazers shook off a set loss and defeated the Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers in four sets, 25-18, 25-15, 19-25, 25-14, to kick off their bid for a first-ever NCAA title.

However, the Lady Bombers were determined to make the Lady Blazers fight for the win. In the first set, JRU tried to keep up with CSB, before the latter pushed their lead up to five, 20-15. Lady Blazer’s Chelsea Santillan ended the set in their favor with an off-the-block hit, 25-18. CSB started the second set flying, with three straight points off Jeanette Panaga. Benilde slowly built up a lead that went to as high as ten, 23-13, and put the frame out of reach. A quick attack from Ranya Musa clinched the 2-0 lead for the Taft-based ladies.

Not giving up, the Lady Bombers mounted a huge run in the third set. JRU left CSB bamboozled in this frame, leading by as much as nine, 14-5, after a miscommunication error from the latter. The Lady Blazers tried to chip the deficit and brought it down to only three, 12-15. In the end, JRU rose to the challenge and survived the comeback attempt after Musa’s serve went straight to the net. Nevertheless, Lady Blazers went to their middle attackers Musa and Panaga to completely overpower their counterparts. Janine Navarro and Djanel Cheng finally closed out the match and the win for CSB.

Panaga led CSB and all scorers with 25 points from 17 attacks and 7 blocks. Navarro and Musa provided the support with 17 and 8 points respectively. Rosalie Pepito and Shola Alvarez both registered 15 points each to lead the Lady Bombers.

The in-form Saint Benilde Lady Blazers (1-0) next face the Lyceum Lady Pirates on Tuesday, December 8 while the JRU Lady Bombers (0-1) have the EAC Lady Generals (1-0) as their next opponents on Wednesday, December 2.

The Scores:
CSB (3) – Panaga 25, Navarro 17, Musa 8, Cheng 4, Dolorito 4, Lizares 4, Austero 2, Santillan 1, Torres (L), Lim (L).
JRU (0) – Pepito 15, Alvarez 15, Sixto 6, Caridad 3, Medici 2, Montojo 1, Batalon 0, Macaraya (L), Angeles (L).

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Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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