Photo By Michaela Arguelles
Photo By Michaela Arguelles.

#NCAASeason99: Lady Blazers sweep Lady Generals in tournament opener; Benilde Blazers surrender to EAC

The #BenildeBlazers faltered against the Generals in five sets, while the Lady Blazers made short work of Lady Generals in the opening of the #NCAASeason99 Volleyball tournament.

By Kobe Balderas, and Aleea Fedillaga | Sunday, 7 April 2024

The De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) Blazers and Lady Blazers faced the Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) Generals and Lady Generals, respectively, today, Apr. 7, at the FilOil EcoOil Sports Centre in San Juan City. The women’s team swept their foes, 3-0, while the men’s team absorbed their first loss, 2-3.


The Benilde Blazers kicked off the tournament with a battle against the EAC Generals in the first match of the season. The Benilde Blazers had a slow start which the Generals capitalized on to get an easy six-point lead. However, the men in green and white started to warm up and get in sync as outside hitter James Marasigan, outside hitter Arnel Aguilar, opposite Jacob Herrera, and middle-blocker Mike Balbacal rose to the occasion to pull off a comeback. 


As the game became more intense, errors by the Blazers helped the Generals catch up as opposite Jan Abor, outside hitter Marvin Romero, and captain middle-blocker Kenneth Batiancila stepped up offensively and defensively to capture the 2nd and 3rd set to lead the game, 2-1. But their lead was short lived as the Taft squad inched their way to victory with their defensive grit and chemistry to bounce back during the fourth set as Aguilar sealed the win with a sharp attack to extend the game. The final set was a see-saw battle between both teams until the Generals went on a 4-0 run, gaining their momentum to close the game with a victory. 


The Lady Blazers set foot on the hardwood next, going up against the Lady Generals. The three-peat seeking Taft squad made sure to open up their campaign on a high note, as the Lady Blazers showed no signs of rust. 


The first two sets, the ladies in green and white outright dominated the Lady Generals, displaying a glimpse of their championship form. The opening minutes of the first set saw a back-and-forth affair between both squads, however, after the first technical timeout, a barrage of powerful attacks from senior middle-blocker Mich Gamit. Alongside a series of successful conversions from outside hitter, Wielyn Estoque and opposite hitter Gayle Pascual, this helped the Lady Blazers pull away from the latter. The second set saw a familiar set of attacks from the Lady Blazers, this time headed by middle-blocker Zamantha Nolasco, who scored four early points to give the Taft squad an early cushion. Season 97 MVP and former Lady Blazers team captain, Mycah Go, also made her much awaited return to the hardwood in the second set. The Lady Blazers wouldn’t look back and took the win in the second set, to build an early 2-0 advantage.


The third set saw a more competitive match as the Lady Generals were eager to extend the ball game, but this proved challenging because the Lady Blazers looked to close out their game early. It was a tight battle between both squads throughout, consecutive errors would stab the Lady Blazers in the back, which the Lady Generals capitalized on. Despite trailing behind in the latter part of the ball game, 20-22, the fierce combination of attacks by Estoque and Pascual, alongside the bothering defense of Nolasco and Gamit, would pave the way for the Lady Blazers to claim the set and end the game, 3-0. 


Set scores

Blazers: 25-22, 23-25, 22-25, 25-22, 12-15

Lady Blazers: 25-15, 25-14, 25-23

Last updated: Sunday, 7 April 2024