Layout Banner By Reina Cruz
Layout Banner By Reina Cruz.

Lady Blazers advance to next round after surviving Lady Altas in five-set thriller

Coming off from a sweet V-League championship victory, the Lady Blazers showed no signs of complacency after earning their bounce-back win in the #ShakeysSuperLeague Pre Season Championship.

By Zen Alday | Sunday, 1 October 2023


The De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) Lady Blazers staged a gutsy five-set win against the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (UPHSD) Lady Altas, 3-2, to claim the second win in the Shakeys Super League Pre-season Championship, on Sept. 30, at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum. 


The first set saw a continuous neck-and-neck affair on both sides of the court. As both teams exchanged strong offensive plays, setter Cloanne Mondoñedo hustled to utilize her reliable hitters Zamantha Nolasco and Mich Gamit who dropped consecutive markers for a two-point cushion, 16-14. The Taft squad maintained the lead through their effective plays—all until attack errors and miscommunication started to doom them on the transition, surrendering the set to the Lady Altas, 26-24.  


After making adjustments in the second set, the Lady Blazers were able to tally cleaner receptions to activate Jade Gentapa and Clydel Catarig for more attacks. Eager to redeem their first set loss, the Lady Blazers forcefully powered through the Lady Altas’ net defense, 14-9. Gentapa continued to usher the ladies in green and white after shrugging off a 3-0 run from the opponent and pounded on the maroon squad’s faulty reception from the left wing to gain momentum and close the set at 25-21.


With the absence of key player Gayle Pascual due to the league’s all-to-play rule, the Taft squad welcomed the third set struggling to keep up with the combination of plays and precise hits from Lady Altas Mary Dapol. Despite efforts to snatch the lead, the Lady Blazers’ floor defense could not contain the attacks sent by the attackers of UPHSD who collectively carried their team to a 21-25 victory.


Smart plays from the forefront of Benilde easily trampled the momentum of the opponent, thanks to Taft’s tower Nolasco who staged stellar surprise attacks and lightning-fast kills for a six-point margin, 10-4. After a short-lived momentum earned from a 3-0 on the side of the Lady Altas, the Lady Blazers responded with off-the-block points. Benilde continued to dominate on the offensive front through a series of collective lethal attacks that ballooned their lead to 11, 20-9. The Lady Altas were only able to sneak three points before the Lady Blazers forced a fifth set, 25-21.


In the deciding set, both teams played aggressively on both ends as they exchanged swift kills until the Lady Blazers pulled off a five-to-nothing run, 6-2. The Lady Altas tried to keep their opponent at bay with Dapol’s sharp attacks, but Benilde ceaselessly fired down UPHSD’s hits as led by Catarig. Dorog’s power tip and Gentapa’s speedy hit placed the final nail in the coffin,  15-11.


Gentapa posted another stellar performance and paced Benilde with 17 points. This win placed the Lady Blazers in second place of group standing’s pool c, trailing the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses.