Bouncing back from a harsh four-setter loss, the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) Lady Blazers dismantled the University of the East (UE) Lady Red Warriors, 3-1, in the 2023 V-League Collegiate Challenge, today, Sept. 10, at the at the Paco Arena Events and Sports Center.
Despite standing as the head coach for both teams, coach Jerry Yee stayed on the green and white side as he powered Zamantha Nolasco and Jade Gentapa to steer Benilde’s offense in the first set. The Lady Blazers tried to juke the ladies in red and white with surprise attacks, but poor floor defense hounded them from preventing Lady Red Warrior Casiey Dongallo’s exceptional attacking form that carried the Lady Red Warriors to a 23-25 first set victory.
Nolasco once again took charge of Benilde’s early-set offense with two consecutive kills before Gentapa and Michelle Gamit stepped in to challenge the net defense of the Lady Red Warriors, 13-10. After failing to thwart the explosive attacks of Dongallo in the first set, the Lady Blazers made extra efforts to strengthen their blocking system in the second set while taking advantage of UE’s frail defense. Gayle Pascual ushered the Taft squad as she scored three of Benilde’s last five points with two blocks and an attack. Wielyn Estoque brought Benilde to a match point after a sharp hit followed by a soft spike from setter Cloanne Modonedo to claim the set, 25-22.
Despite stronger defensive blocks from the red and white side, the Lady Blazers maintained their prowess and quick play strategies in the third set. The Taft squad was holding a comfortable four-point cushion, 13-9, until the Lady Red Warriors started dropping fierce attacks to keep a close affair throughout the set. Trailing UE by a point, Pascual forged a 24-all deadlock to extend the set. The Lady Blazers dismissed three match-point attempts from the opposing side as a spike from Gentapa—followed by a powerful block from Pascual—sent the Lady Blazers to a thrilling 29-27 set win.
With a two-set advantage on their hands, Benilde displayed its usual deadly form by unloading an assortment of offensive strategies to deny the Lady Red Warriors a chance for redemption on the strength of a sizzling 10-2 finishing kick. They maintained a comfortable lead through the help of Mondonedo who orchestrated their fluid offense as UE scrambled on the other side. Pascual sent the Lady Blazers to a match point with a killer spike while Corinne Apostol secured the game with a block, 25-18.
Pascual unfurled 23 stellar points on 20 kills, two blocks, and a service ace. Gentapa sizzled with 20 while Mondoñedo was credited for 15 excellent sets.
The Lady Blazers will face the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (UPHSD) Lady Altas at the same venue on Friday, Sept. 15, at the Paco Arena Events and Sports Center. The game will be streamed live at the V-League website, Facebook and Youtube, and Solar Sports.
DLS-CSB (3): Pascual 23, Gentapa 20, Gamit 16, Nolasco 15, Apostol 4, Estoque 4, Mondonedo 1, Bararte 0, Borromeo 0, Catarig 0, Dorog 0, Estenzo 0, Getigan 0, Ondangan 0,
UE (1): Dongallo 32, Cepada 15, Balingit , Nogales 8, Ecalla 3, Madriaga 3, Famulangan 1, Canete 0, Castillo 0, Fernandez 0, Nieva 0, Reyes 0, Villamor 0, Zeta 0