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Tiebreaker Times


Lady Blazers send Lady Red Spikers to the brink

The College of Saint Benilde Lady Blazers very well knew of the implications of both a win and a loss in this pivotal match-up.

The defending NCAA champions shook of another first-set loss, eventually upending the young San Beda College Lady Red Spikers, 12-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-19, and climbed to solo second in the season, Thursday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Wing hitter Rachel Austero surprised everyone after topping the reigning champs with 13 points and leading the Blazers in blocks with two.

The Lady Red Spikers took the first set, pouncing on CSB’s haphazard movement on defense.

Head coach Macky Cariño rued such attitude in the opening set loss.

“Sobrang bagal ng first set namin. Sa sobrang focus ng team ko, nakatingin na lang sila sa kabila. Yung galaw namin, di nila pinansin,” he said. “So ang sabi ko, yun yung niremind ko sa kanila. Alam natin yung gagalawin ng kabila, pero dapat laruin din natin yung laro natin.”

From then on, it was no turning back for the green-shirts as they out-hustled the opponents in the next three frames. Errors in the crucial stretches from the Mendiola pack sealed their doom as the match was decided on this department. The Lady Red Spikers committed 33 errors as opposed to Benilde’s 30.

Middle hitters Jeanette Panaga and Ranya Musa, and Arianne Daguil all have 11 markers for CSB. Cesca Racraquin carried the cudgels for San Beda with 17 points along with 12 digs, while Nieza Viray punched in 14 spikes.

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Carino also shared that during the Christmas break, he told his team that, “Sinabi ko na sa kanila yung magiging scenario. So once na matalo tayo ng San Beda, magdedelikado tayo. Sabi ko, kung gusto nating maging top, we have to win against San Beda. So, nung three weeks ng vacation, pinukpok ko sila. Kaya yung team ko walang matamlay, lahat pormado.”

The Lady Blazers (6-1) will face the Arellano University Lady Chiefs (also at 6-1) in a crucial match for the semifinals picture next Wednesday, January 13. On the other hand, the Lady Red Spikers (5-3) will try to resuscitate their playoff dream when they take on Mapua Lady Cardinals (0-6) in their last assignment in the eliminations on January 20.

The Scores:

CSB (3) – Austero 13, Panaga 11, Musa 11, Daguil 11, Cardiente 2, Santillan 0, Umali 0, Sulit 0, Avila 0, Torres (L).

SBC (1) – C. Racraquin 17, N. Viray 14, Espiritu 8, Amador 5, Laguna 2, Cuevas 0, Manuel 0, D. Racraquin (L).

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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