St. Benilde survives tough five-setter against Letran for second win in NCAA women's volleyball
Jeanette Panaga and the Lady Blazers move to the early lead in the NCAA. Dante Peralta

DEFENDING champion St. Benilde bucked a slow, sloppy start and turned back Letran, 25-27, 23-25, 25-22, 25-7, 15-12, on Sunday for its second straight win in the women's division of the 92nd NCAA volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.

Last year's Finals MVP Jeanette Panaga and Ranya Musa fired 19 hits apiece to power the Lady Blazers to the solo lead.

It was a huge follow-up win for the Lady Blazers after a four-set victory over Perpetual Help in last week's opener.

"Credit to Letran, they played a great game and we we were sluggish at the start," said St. Benilde coach Macky Carino.

"Good thing the players refused to give up and just kept fighting."

Spearheaded by Mikaela Lopez and Glayssa Faith Torres, the Michael Inoferio Lady Knights appeared headed a straight-sets victory but Panaga and Musa just wouldn’t give up.

In the men's side, St. Benilde nailed its first win, routing Letran 25-19, 25-13, 26-24.

The Squires trounced the Junior Blazers, 25-16, 25-19, 25-19, to also secure their first triumph.

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