Jhasmine Jhasmine Pascual of St. Benilde tries to score against two University of the East defenders in the first-ever V-League Collegiate Challenge at the Paco Arena. V-League photo

St. Benilde in V-League finals

September 23, 2023 Theodore P. Jurado 151 views

COLLEGE of Saint Benilde dispatched University of the East in straight-set fashion for the second straight match, 25-21, 25-13, 25-10 to achieve its first-ever V-League Collegiate Challenge Finals stint yesterday at the Paco Arena.

Skipper Clo Mondoñedo put up another brilliant all-around performance, finishing with 15 excellent sets and contributing two of the Lady Blazers’ five blocks.

Benilde will wait for another day to determine its championship opponent as Far Eastern University got back at University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, 23-25, 25-23, 25-17, 25-13, sending their semifinals series to a sudden death.

“Good thing is we have an extra day off. Yun ‘yung advantage namin sa (makakalaban namin sa Finals),” said Benilde coach Jerry Yee.

Gayle Pascual came away with 13 points, Zam Nolasco had two service aces for a 12-point outing for the Lady Blazers.

Michelle Gamit logged 10 points, including two service aces and two blocks, while Jade Gentapa also scored 10 points and collected six digs for Benilde.

The Lady Blazers, who toppled the Lady Warriors, 25-22, 25-13, 25-12, in last Wednesday’s opener, thus surpassed their bronze-medal finish last season.

Chenie Tagaod logged 25 points, including two service aces, and 10 digs, while Keisha Bedonia added 16 points and 13 receptions for the Lady Tamaraws.

FEU setter Tin Ubaldo had a match-best six blocks, fired two aces and tossed in 18 excellent sets while Mitzi Panangin had five blocks for a 14-point effort.

In men’s semis, University of Santo Tomas fended off FEU’s fightback in the fourth set as it pounded out a 25-19, 25-22, 23-25, 25-23 victory to advance to the finals later in the day.

Wing spikers Josh Ybañez, Emman Dedoroy and Gboy De Vega hammered in three consecutive kills to deny the Tamaraws a chance to force a decider and stay in the finals hunt.

“Thank you kay Lord na nakarating kami rito kahit nung third set nag-relax ‘yung mga bata. Pero at least nung fourth set naibalik ‘yung composure nila,” said UST coach Benjamin Mape, whose wards also defeated the FEU side, 21-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-22, in the opener of their best-of-three series last Wednesday.

UST will meet the winner in the Ateneo-La Salle semis duel for the championship starting Wednesday.

The Green Spikers force deciding Game 3 following a 25-21, 25-21, 25-21 win over the Blue Eagles.