St. Benilde eliminates Perpetual Help to arrange playoff with NCAA women's volley titleholder Arellano
The St. Benilde Lady Blazers are one step away from a finals appearance but standing in their way are the Arellano Lady Chiefs. Dante Peralta

COLLEGE of St. Benilde fought back from a set down to eliminate University of Perpetual Help, 16-25, 25-19, 25-11, 25-21, on Tuesday in the first phase of the stepladder semifinals of the NCAA women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.

Janine Navarro and Ranya Musa had 15 points each, while Jeanette Panaga added 11 markers for the Lady Blazers, who next take on defending champion Arellano University.

Musa and Panaga combined for all of CSB’s 11 blocks.

The Lady Altas last led, 16-15, in the fourth set after Lourdes Clemente blocked Panaga but the Lady Blazers countered with a 10-5 run to take the win.

Lady Blazers mentor Macky Carino, a long-time assistant to Sammy Acaylar both at Perpetual Help and Cignal in the Philippine Super Liga, said familiarity was the main weapon he had against the Lady Altas.

“Kasi galing ako doon sa Perpetual Help alam ko ang sistema niya (Acaylar),” said Carino.

“Na-anticipate ko na ang gagawin niya kaya kailangan ko gawin ’yung adjustments na gagawin nila after a timeout,” he added.

But Carino stressed that even with their other opponents he still makes the needed preparation.

“Bago kami maglaro inaaral ko ang kalaban,” he said. “Kaya pag time out alam ko ang gagawin ko, kung paano sila aatakehin.”

 Jamela Suyat finished with 15 points for Perpetual Help, while Coleen Bravo added 11.

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