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Panaga lifts CSB over SSC-R for first V-League win

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In the final match of the opening day of the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference, Jeanette Panaga led her CSB Lady Blazers in a straight-set win over their NCAA rivals, SSC-R Lady Stags 25-18, 26-24, 25-11 at the FilOil Flying-V Arena.

Panaga topped all scorers with 18 points off 10 attacks, seven blocks, and an ace. When asked about Panaga’s stellar performance, Benilde head coach, Michael Clariño stated that this type of performance was what he expected from the oldest player on his squad.

“Given na siya [Panaga] ‘yung senior sa team, ganyan ‘yung gusto kong makita sa kanya. Malaking tulong talaga ‘yung international experience na nakuha niya… parang mas malaki na ‘yung kompyansa niya when she faces local competition,” added Clariño referring to Panaga’s stint with the National Team at the AVC Senior’s tournament in China.

Panaga’s Cignal teammate, Jannine Navarro added 12 points while Melanie Torres and Kym Ramos combined for 12 markers themselves. Benilde used their towering presence in trouncing the Lady Stags, garnering 12 block kills to SSC’s three. The Lady Blazers were also stingy with their errors, netting only 18 to Baste’s 24.

“Maganda naman ‘yung performance ng team given na kakagaling lang namin from the PNG Finals. Kapag nakapagpahinga na sila, malamang mas manbilis pa ‘yung gagalawin nila,” quipped Clariño.

The Lady Stags had to deal with a major adjustment to their lineup as NCAA MVP, Gretchel Soltones suited up but as a Libero. Usually SSC’s lead open hitter, Soltones was relegated as a defensive specialist to relieve her of most of the team’s scoring load.

Benilde looks to keep winning when they face TIP on July 18 while SSC will face the Ateneo Lady Eagles on July 19.

The Scores:

Benilde (3) – Panaga 18, Navarro 12, Torres 6, Ramos 6, Musa 5, Cheng 2, Austero 2, Santillan 1, Borrero 0, Dolorito 0, Enclona (L)

SSC-R (0) – Dalisay 9, Labiano 9, Sinamban 7, Villegas 6, Arabe 2, Guillema 1, Encarnacion 1, Crisostomo 0, Cruz 0, Lim 0, Eroa (L), Soltones (L)

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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