The De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) Lady Blazers outclassed the University of the East (UE) Lady Red Warriors, 3-0, to take game one of their semi-finals clash in the 2023 V-League Collegiate Challenge, today, Sept. 20, at the at the Paco Arena Events and Sports Center.
The opening set was a nip-and-tuck affair between both squads. The ladies in green and white drew the first point coming off a UE error. On the other hand, Casiey Dongallo scored the first point for the Lady Red Warriors after an attack through the middle. The close affair continued throughout the set, Jade Gentapa and Gayle Pascual steered the wheel for the Taft squad, while Dongallo and Keisha Famulagan headed the offense of Lady Red Warriors. Midway through the set, both squads were even at 15-15, although that was quickly repelled by a gentle attack from Coreen Apostol to give the lead back to the Lady Blazers, 16-15. The set would go down the wire, although the ladies in green and white made sure to claim the win after creating a three-point cushion in the latter part of the set, 23-20. This would eventually lead to a kill attack by Pascual to claim the first set, 25-21.
The succeeding set was pre-maturely competitive as both squads continued to fire with powerful hits of their own. However, the Lady Blazers slowly pulled away from the latter, headed by Mich Gamit and Zamantha Nolasco, who put on a masterclass showing hinged on their tactical offensive sets and towering defense, to extend the lead to seven, 16-9. Dongallo tried to carry the load for the ladies in white and red, however, the Benilde defense was too much to handle. The Taft squad would never look back and continued to dominate the set, 25-13.
The third set was no different—the Lady Blazers continued their hot streak, after a series of attacks and strengthening their suffocating defense. The Lady Red Warriors couldn’t find their mark after consecutive errors, which eventually resulted in the Lady Blazers’ lead ballooning to six, 16-10. When the Lady Red Warriors showed signs of a comeback, Cloanne Mondonedo ignited another run for Benilde, directing the Taft squad’s offense, which drastically closed the door for the ladies in white and red. Heavy attacks from Gentapa, Pascual, Nolasco and Gamit propelled the Lady Blazers with the win, 25-12.
Mondonedo was hailed player of the game tallying 18 excellent attacks, two points, and two aces. Nolasco, Pascual and Gentap chipped in double figures scoring 12,13 and 15 points respectively.
The Lady Blazers will look to close out the series against the UE Lady Red Warriors at the same venue on Friday, Sept. 22, at the Paco Arena Events and Sports Center. The game will be streamed live at the V-League website, Facebook and Youtube, and Solar Sports.
DLS-CSB (3): Gentapa 15, Pascual 13, Nolasco 12, Gamit 9, Apostol 8, Mondonedo 2, Basarte 0, Borromeo 0, Catarig 0, Dorog 0, Estenzo 0, Estoque 0, Ondangan 0
UE (0): Dongallo 9, Cepada 6, Nogales 6, Famulagan 5, Madriaga 4, Balingit 3, Ecalla 2, Canete 0, Castillo 0, Nieva 0, Reyes 0