Gamit Michelle Gamit and Gayle Pascual: Scoring 14 points apiece for Benilde in Game 1. SGA photo

St. Benilde a win away

May 20, 2024 Theodore P. Jurado 158 views

COLLEGE of Saint Benilde moved on the cusp of completing a three-peat with a 25-21, 25-19, 25-14 dismantling of Letran yesterday in the Finals opener of the NCAA women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

The Lady Knights, who are making their first championship appearance since 2012, kept the match close in the first set before the Lady Blazers dominated the next two to secure the 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.

“Yung ganoong klaseng first set, diyan tayo magpo-focus, viewing, details. Diyan tayo makakakuha ng lessons,” coach Jerry Yee told broadcaster GTV.

Benilde shoots its fourth title overall in Game 2 at 2:30 p m. on Sunday at the San Juan arena.

“Yung Game 1, importante sa amin sabi ni coach (Yee) kasi ito ang magse-set ng tone ng championship. Pero ngayon, back-to-zero. Back-to-zero mentality,” Gayle Pascual said.

“So mahaba pa, meron pang Game 2, possible na magkaroon ng Game 3,” she added.

Letran (1977-80), San Sebastian (1982-84, 1986-88, 1990-96, 1999-2002, 2005-11), University of Perpetual Help System Dalta (2012-14) and Arellano University (2017-19) were the schools which completed a three-peat.

The Lady Blazers’ other title was in 2016, stunning the Grethcel Soltones-Lady Stags in an epic championship series.

Pascual, last season’s Finals MVP, had an efficient 13-of-22 kills to finish with 14 points, while Michelle Gamit also had 14 points on 11-of-19 spikes and three blocks for Benilde.

Zam Nolasco logged four of the Lady Blazers’ eight blocks and was the other player in double digits with 12 points while setter Clo Mondoñedo tossed in 15 excellent sets.

Rookie Gia Maquilang tallied 10 points and seven receptions while Judiel Nitura had two blocks for a nine-point effort and collected four digs for the Lady Knights.

Games Sunday:

(Filoil EcoOil Centre)
12 noon – EAC vs Perpetual (Men Finals)
2:30 p.m. – Letran vs Benilde (Women Finals)