St. Benilde recovered from an opening set defeat then fought off San Beda’s tenacious stand late in the fourth to carve out a 21-25, 26-24, 25-8, 25-23 victory and charge back into contention in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan yesterday.
The Lady Blazers nearly squandered a 22-16 lead in the fourth as the Lady Red Spikers scored on a couple of hits and kill blocks to threaten at 23-24. But St. Benilde, which lost to FEU in five and dropped a four-setter to Adamson, quashed its rival’s last-ditch bid on a Diane Ventura kill off a quick set.
“We are still learning on closing out a game. We still have a lot of work to do, especially me,” said Jerry Yee, who moved from UP to handle the Taft-based school priming up for the NCAA wars.
Yee drew 16 points from Marites Pablo while Klarisa Abriam backed her up with 15 hits.
San Beda, which sorely missed the services of ace hitter and skipper Cesca Racraquin, who sat out for the second straight game due to a left ankle sprain she sustained during the team’s training last Tuesday, dropped to 0-3.
Still, the Lady Red Spikers surprised the Blazers with a strong opening set performance and barely dropped the extended second set.
Nieza Viray scored a game-high 19 attack points while China Tannagan added 12 markers for the Lady Red Spikers.
St. Benilde thus seized solo fifth at 1-2, just behind UP, which has a 1-0 card, and Adamson, who totes a 2-0 slate. FEU and UST pace the single round elims of the mid-season conference of the league organized by Sports Vision and backed by Mikasa and Asics, with 3-0 marks.
The top four teams will advance to the crossover semis with the winners disputing the crown in a best-of-three affair.