Lady Blazers eye crown unblemished


UNDEFEATED College of Saint Benilde hopes to complete a second consecutive perfect season in Game 2 of the Finals of the National Collegiate Athletic Association women’s volleyball tournament against Lyceum of the Philippines University Friday at the Filoil EcoOil Center.

“We really wanted the championship. As what coach [Jerry Yee] says, we’ve been in the finals many times so we can go back-to-back,” said Gayle Pascual after the Lady Blazers’ 25-17, 25-19, 25-19 Game 1 conquest of the Lady Pirates Tuesday.

Game 2 is set at 12 noon.

Despite having a huge psychological advantage, Saint Benilde is not taking Lyceum for granted.

“It’s not over yet until it’s over,” said Pascual, who is poised for a back-to-back Finals MVP award after logging 15 points, including three blocks.

It’s not only Pascual who is delivering the goods but also team captain Cloanne Mondoñedo, who hopes to secure the Best Setter honors in the 10 a.m. awarding ceremony for the league’s top individual performers.

With Mondoñedo orchestrating the plays, and sometimes even goes on attack mode if she has the opportunity, the Lady Blazers have a balanced offense with Michelle Gamit, Jade Gentapa, Zam Nolasco and Jessa Dorog contributing.

The Lady Pirates hope to brush off all the jitters by learning all the Game 1 lessons and bring their A-game to extend the series.

University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, meanwhile, seeks to complete a “three-peat” in the men’s Finals against San Beda in Game 2 at 12 noon.

Louie Ramirez had 17 points and 13 receptions in the Altas’ 25-20, 25-16, 25-22 romp over the Red Spikers in the Finals opener, extending the Las Piñas-based squad’s winning run to 31 matches since 2018.

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