COLLEGE of Saint Benilde flirted disaster before beating Enderun Colleges, 25-17, 20-25, 25-10, 25-27, 15-12, to end its V-League Collegiate Challenge eliminations with two straight victories at the Paco Arena yesterday.
The Lady Titans took a 8-5 lead in the fifth set when the Lady Blazers flipped switch behind Jade Gentapa, Gayle Pascual and Michelle Gamit to survive the two-hour contest.
Finishing second with a 6-1 record, NCAA holders Benilde will face No. 3 University of the East (5-2) in the best-of-three semifinals starting Wednesday.
Unbeaten Far Eastern University (7-0) and No. 4 University of Perpetual Help System Dalta (4-3) collide in the other half of the semis.
Enderun, the reigning NAASCU queens, claimed fifth in the tournament with a 2-5 record.
Gentapa led the Lady Blazers with 18 points, including two service aces, and 12 digs, Pascual had four blocks for a 17-point outing while Zam Nolasco added 11 points, including three blocks.
Gamit was the other Benilde player in double digits with 10 points while setter Clo Mondoñedo tossed in 16 excellent sets.
Erika Deloria, who powered the Lady Titans in extending the match, logged 22 points, Althea Botor added 21 points, nine digs and six receptions while Zen Perolino had two blocks and two service aces to finish with nine points.
Earlier, Roxie dela Cruz scored 13 points, including two service aces, and five digs as Mapua swept San Sebastian, 25-15, 25-22, 25-22.
Trixie Gojol provided stability for the Lady Cardinals with 10 excellent sets.
Mapua also finished at 2-5 but settled for seventh place due to inferior match points with five against Enderun’s seven and Lyceum of the Philippines University’s six.
“Sabi ko lang sa kanila, sana ‘yung last game napanalo nila para matapos namin ng maayos ang liga,” said Lady Cardinals coach Aying Esteban. “May ini-insert kami na sistema na bago sa kanila.
Hindi naman abrupt na makukuha nila. Pero kahit papaano strong finish naman tayo, maging masaya naman ending natin.”
The Lady Stags ended up winless in seven matches.
In men’s play, Ken Batas had 15 points, Amil Pacinio scored 13 points, while Jian Salarzon added 11 points, including three blocks as Ateneo warmed up its semis duel with fabled rival La Salle with a 25-17, 26-24, 25-17 victory.
The No. 2 Blue Eagles (6-1) and No. 3 Green Spikers (4-3) will meet again in the opener of the best-of-three series beginning Wednesday.
The other semis pits top-ranked University of Santo Tomas (6-1) and No. 4 Far Eastern University (4-3), long-time volleyball rivals.
Leo Aringo and Mike Buddin teamed up for 24 points as UAAP holders National University ended its campaign with a 25-20, 25-19, 25-16 romp of San Beda.
The Bulldogs, who lost their semifinals bid via tiebreak, wrapped up their stint with a 4-3 card.
The Red Spikers, on the other hand, went 0-7.