DEFENDING champion College of St. Benilde fought back from a set down to deny San Beda College, 12-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-19, and grab the solo second spot in the NCAA Season 92 women’s volleyball competition on Thursday at The Arena in San Juan.
Rachel Anne Austerio finished with 13 points to lead the Lady Blazers while team captain Jeannette Panaga, Jan Daguil and Ranya Musa made 11 markers apiece.
CSB improved to 6-1 win-loss record and moved a step closer in clinching a semifinals seat. But CSB coach Macky Cariño admitted that his wards got out of focus in the opening set.
“Sobrang bagal ng first set namin. Sa sobrang focus ng team ko, nakatingin na lang sila sa kabila (San Beda). ‘Yung team namin, ‘yung iginagalaw namin ‘di na namin pinansin,” he said.
“So ‘yun ang ni-remind ko sa kanila, na alam natin ang gagalawin ng kabila pero dapat laruin din natin ang laro natin,” he added. “So ayun pagdating ng second set, buti nagbago.”
The Lady Blazers will face Arellano University (5-1) on Wednesday before the Finals rematch against unbeaten San Sebastian College (6-0) on January 25 to close out their elimination round campaign.
Francesca Racraquin had 17 points while Nieza Viray scored 14 for San Beda.
The Lionesses dropped to 5-3 and are on the verge of bowing out of the semifinals race.
Meanwhile, in the men’s division, CSB secured at least a playoff for the semis after an easy win over San Beda, 25-19, 25-23, 25-17.
The Blazers took the solo top spot (6-1) behind skipper John Vic De Guzman’s 11 points. Isaah Arda and Francis Basilan scored 10 markers each for CSB.
The Red Lions fell to 6-2 but are already assured of a semis seat playoff even with the loss.
In the junior’s match, San Beda avanged its men's and women's losses after the Red Cubs downed the Junior Blazers, 25-16, 25-20, 25-15.
SBC improved to a 3-4 card while CSB-La Salle Greenhills remained winless after five games.