The College of St. Benilde Lady Blazers opened the 2019 PVL Collegiate Conference tournament with a stunner, shocking last year’s silver medalists Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws, 28-26, 25-22, 25-17, Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Buoyed by a two-set buffer entering the third set, the Lady Blazers continued to rely on their steady net and floor defense, all the while hammering down the hits that kept the Lady Tamaraws at bay.
Klarisa Abriam carried the cudgels for CSB with a game-high 13 points, which included 10 attacks and three blocks. She also had 11 excellent digs to complete a double-double outing.
Chelsea Umali supplied 10 markers, all but three coming from attacks, while Michelle Gamit chipped nine markers spiked by three aces.
Jewel Lai generated 18 excellent sets for St. Benilde, which saw nine players tally a point in the victory.
Still, despite a morale-boosting opener, CSB head coach Jerry Yee is tempering expectations to prevent her players from falling to a pit of complacency.
“You can’t expect too much sa unang game palang, unang win palang. So, sige lang. Mahirap na overexcited tayo then maging complacent tayo. Hindi pa tayo umaangat, bumagsak ka na. So, yun yung iniingatan natin,” Yee said.
The new-look Lady Tams continued to miss the services of Lycha Ebon, who is still recovering from an ACL injury she incurred earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Nette Villareal, who was also instrumental in FEU’s runner-up finish a year ago, did not play in the match due to an ankle injury.
France Ronquillo topped FEU with 11 points off eight attacks and two aces. Czarina Carandang managed 10 markers on top of seven excellent digs and three excellent receptions while Gel Cayuna had 10 excellent sets laced with six points.
St. Benilde shall next face UST while FEU takes on TIP. Both matches will be played on August 25, Sunday at the FilOil Arena.
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