COLLEGE of Saint Benilde found a way to fend off Mapua University, 25-16, 25-22, 25-20, for its third straight victory in the V-League Collegiate Challenge at the Paco Arena in Manila Wednesday.
The Lady Blazers used a decisive 7-0 run in the third set to pull away at 23-13 with Zam Nolasco and Clydel Catarig delivering the last two points to cut short the Lady Cardinals’ one final push anchored on Roxie dela Cruz.
The Lady Blazers joined idle leaders and semifinalists Far Eastern University and University of the East on a 5-0 won-lost record.
“We had a slow start, we just wanted to commit many errors, but it’s so far so good,” Saint Benilde assistant coach Jay Chuasaid .
Defense also played a key role as the back-to-back National Collegiate Athletic Association champions finished with 15 blocks—five each from Nolasco and Gayle Pascual—with skipper Clo Mondoñedo coming up with 12 excellent sets.
De la Cruz scored 10 points, including four aces late in the third set, while Raisa Ricablanca backed her up with nine points for Mapua which fell to 1-3.
In the other women’s match, Mary Rose Dapol showed her MVP form and steered University of Perpetual Help System DALTA to a 25-27, 25-14, 25-22, 25-19 win over Enderun Colleges.
Dapol peppered the Lady Titans’ defense with 26 points as the Lady Altas stayed at fourth place with three wins and two defeats,
With the last two semifinals seats still up for grabs, Perpetual Help head coach Sandy Rieta underscored the need for the Lady Altas to work harder.
“We’ll prepare well for our next match,” he said.
Dapol finished with 22 kills and four service aces while team captain Razel Aldea added 13 points on 11 attacks and two blocks.
Erika Jin Deloria had a 20-point explosion, while Althea Botor added 14 points for Enderun, which dropped to 1-3 in a tie with Mapua.