Rookie middle blocker Imee Hernandez unloaded 20 points to lift University of Sto. Tomas past College of St. Benilde, 21-25, 25-22, 25-19, 24-26, 15-12, yesterday, Sunday in the PVL Collegiate Conference at the Arena in San Juan.
The Tigresses had to survive a maze of 46 errors as they leaned on the 16 attacks, and three blocks by Hernandez to carve out the victory and stay unbeaten in two matches. They thus grabbed a share of Pool B lead with idle Arellano University.
Hernandez scored three in a 4-1 run that pushed UST at match point, 14-12. Rachelle Roldan then nailed the final nail on cross court kill.
In the PVL Open Conference, Creamline got back at PetroGazz with its power, teamwork and poise, carving out a 25-19, 28-26, 25-20 victory to extend its win run to five and firm up its hold of the lead in PVL Season 3.
Celine Domingo stepped up for injured starter Pau Soriano and more than filled up the slack, unleashing a nine-attack game and coming through with two kill blocks as she complemented well with the likes of Alyssa Valdez, Michele Gumabao, Jema Galanza and Risa Sato, playmaker Jia Morado and libero Kyla Atienza.
The Cool Smashers actually bucked three set points in the second as they kept their composure while pouncing on the Angels’ faulty receptions to steal the frame then pulled away late in the third behind Sato and Valdez to complete the straight romp.
The Angels, who beat the Cool Smashers to snare the Reinforced Conference crown recently, slipped to 1-2.
Meanwhile, reigning UAAP champ Ateneo used its depth to overwhelm San Sebastian College in three while NCAA titlist Arellano bucked a depleted roster to repulse Lyceum of the Philippines University in four.
Rookie Faith Nisperos followed up her explosive 19-hit effort against the Letran Lady Knights with a 15-point showing on 11 attacks and four aces while Ponggay Gaston backed her up with 10 markers after missing their opening game as the Lady Eagles romped off with a 25-17, 25-17, 25-8 victory for a 2-0 card in Pool A.
Ateneo playmaker Jaja Maraguinot tallied 20 excellent sets to anchor the Lady Eagles’ 35 attack points and finished with seven markers with coach Oliver Almadro giving her young wards the chance to show their wares in their 67-minute triumph.
“Everything is a learning process. You just have to keep on learning and learning. We really have to maximize our players to achieve cohesiveness,” said Almadro. “We know that our team is basically young, mostly are sophomores and freshmen so we need to develop trust on each other.”