St. Benilde deals San Sebastian first loss in opener of NCAA women's volleyball finals
The St. Benilde Lady Blazers continue their surge after big wins over Perpetual Help and Arellano. Dante Peralta

COLLEGE of St. Benilde recovered from a set down to stop erstwhile unbeaten San Sebastian, 24-26, 25-21, 25-19, 25-13, on Tuesday in the opener of the NCAA women’s volleyball finals at The Arena in San Juan.

Jeanette Panaga and Janine Navarro combined for 42 points as the Lady Blazers stunned the San Sebastian belles, who claimed an outright finals spot - and thrice-to-beat advantage in the finals - with a nine-match sweep of the eliminations.

"We adjusted after that first set," said St. Benilde coach Michael Carino.

It was St. Benilde's third straight victory after surviving sudden-death matches against Perpetual Help and last year's titlist Arellano U in the stepladder semifinals.

The Lady Blazers need to win two more matches to claim the title.

Gretcel Soltones had 27 hits for San Sebastian, which had not seen action for more than a week.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @meilinlozada