COLLEGE of Saint Benilde and University of Perpetual Help System moved on the cusp of arranging an all-NCAA finale after besting fancied semifinals foes in the V-League Collegiate Challenge at the Paco Arena yesterday.
The Lady Altas dealt Far Eastern University its first loss of the tournament with a 25-21, 28-26, 26-24 series opening victory.
The Lady Blazers flexed their defensive muscle to repel University of the East, 25-22, 25-13, 25-12, for the big head-start in their own best-of-three series.
Benilde, the two-time NCAA champions, and Perpetual go for the jugular in Game 2s set tomorrow.
The Lady Blazers used a telling 8-0 closing run to dispatch the Lady Warriors, spiked by a three straight hits from Zam Nolasco, including back-to-back blocks.
“Yung consistency and less errors lang talaga yung nangyari in this game,” said Benilde assistant coach Jay Chua. “Sana gumana ‘yung blocking namin sa Game 2.”
Nolasco eventually finished with six blocks to go with six attacks.
Jade Gentapa paced the Lady Blazers with 15 points, including two service aces, and 11 digs while Gayle Pascual added 13 points on 12-of-28 attacks.
Benilde, which struggled past the UE side, 23-25, 25-22, 29-27, 25-18, in the elims last Sept. 10, held the league’s top gun, Casiey Dongallo to nine points on 7-of-48 spikes.
Khy Cepeda and Riza Nogales each scores six points for the Lady Warriors.
Shai Omipon had 20 points and nine digs while Mary Rhose Dapol was also sensational for the Lady Altas with 13 points, including two service aces, nine digs and eight receptions.
Perpetual setter Jhasmine Sapin also fired two aces and tossed in nine excellent sets.
“Yung adjustment namin from offense to defense nag-work. Meron akong mas pinabilis at mas pinatibay sa floor defense; kasama na rin yung scouting sa opponents namin today,” said Lady Altas coach Sandy Rieta.
Kiesha Bedonia hammered 10 kills to lead the Lady Tamaraws, who won all of their seven preliminary round matches.