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Benilde starts campaign on high note in SSL Collegiate tilt

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Games Sunday

(Filoil EcoOil Centre, San Juan)

11 a.m. – LPU vs AU

2 p.m. – MU vs ADMU

5 p.m. – NU vs SSC-R

 

NCAA champion College of St. Benilde shrugged off a slow start to earn a 20-25, 25-14, 25-18, 25-22 win over the gritty Letran side for a winning start in the Shakey’s Super League (SSL) Collegiate Pre-Season Championship Season 2 Saturday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

The Lady Blazers battled back from a set down before needing a come-from-behind effort in the fourth set to fend off the Lady Knights in almost two hours and post a 1-0 slate in Pool C.

Four players hit twin digits led by former NCAA Finals MVP Gayle Pascual with 14 points on 12 attacks, highlighted by a soft drop in the clincher to start CSB’s redemption tour in the 16-team SSL backed by Mikasa, Eurotel, Victory Liner, Summit Bottle Water, Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken, R and B Milk Tea, Potato Corner, Rebel Sports, Converge ICT Solutions and Genius Sports.

Jade Gentapa, also a former Finals MVP, and Michelle Gamit threw in 13 points apiece while Zamantha Nolasco added 11 on four blocks for the two-time reigning NCAA champions.

But head coach Jerry Yee was far from satisfied in the Lady Blazers’ debut outing a month after an early quarterfinal exit in the Shakey’s National Invitationals against another fellow NCAA stalwart University of Perpetual Help System Dalta.

“Pangit ‘yung laro namin. Either pagod kami, underestimated ‘yung kalaban or masyado kaming eager. So, pangit ‘yung laro namin. Let’s see sa second and third game,” said Yee.

Up against Letran under new coach Oliver Almadro, CSB found itself in early trouble after dropping a 20-25 in the opening set defeat before slowly but surely rediscovering its groove by owning the next two frames.

The Lady Blazers returned the favor on the Lady Knights in Set 2, 25-14, and Set 3, 25-18, but needed to unleash their championship pedigree after nearly allowing a decider with a 14-18 deficit late in the fourth set following Gia Marcel Maquilang’s hit off the block.

CSB trimmed the gap to just 21-22 before Pascual took over in anchoring a 4-0 finishing kick for the team’s first win in the SSL Season 2 in cooperation with the Commission on Higher Education and the Philippine Sports Commission.

Letran, which also bowed to University of Santo Tomas with a  21-25, 23-25, 14-25 loss, stayed winless in two matches in Pool C despite the 25 points of Maquilang.

CSB (1-0) collides with group leader UST (2-0) in a bid to stay unblemished on Monday as Letran (0-2) tries to stay in contention against Perpetual (0-1) on the same day.

All games will be accessible across all platforms live and on-demand through the social media pages of Plus Network and SSL with Solar Sports, Blast TV, and Aliw Channel 23 as TV partners.

 

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