The De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) Lady Blazers came back against the twice-to-beat University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses, 3-2, to impel a knockout game in the Shakey’s Super League Pre-Season Championship Quarterfinals, on Oct. 28, at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila.
The game kicked off with two consecutive service aces from Corrine Apostol to give the Lady Blazers a 2-0 start. Throughout the single-digit affair, the Taft squad held on a good lead, even bringing it to 9-4 at one point. However, the Golden Tigresses’ defense stepped up as they snatched the lead from the Lady Blazers, 10-11, after a Jonna Perdido attack. From thereon, it was UST’s turn to ride the advantage, with huge help from Mary Banagua’s seven points. By both teams’ 20th point, the Lady Blazers returned to form as Michelle Gamit blocked it to knot things up at 21-21, boosting them to take back the lead later on. An error by the Tigresses gave away the first set to the ladies in green and white, 25-22.
A similar theme happened in the next set; this time around though inclined to the Golden Tigresses’ side. Even though the Lady Blazers started hot, even reaching a 13-7 leverage, the Tigresses crawled back in a slow yet steady pace, as a Regina Jurado service ace tied it 18 apiece. Even though the Lady Blazers tried to get back on track, the ladies in gold and white made sure this time that they had a firm grip of the set as they won it 22-25 after an Angeline Poyos spike.
The third set was all about the Jurado-Poyos combo as they scored eight apiece to dominate the Lady Blazers. Poyos’ service aces blew away the whole arena as it gave the Lady Blazers no answers. Even though Wielyn Estoque was on fire by scoring six in the set, it was not enough as the Tigresses easily cruised past the Taft squad, 18-25.
The fourth set saw the Lady Blazers push the restart button as they did not let a Golden Tigresses response fool them this time around. Even though it was a sticky set coming from both teams going back-and-forth, Gayle Pascual came to the rescue with five points to lead her team to a 25-23 set win, despite Poyos’ continuous onslaught at the service line.
The final set started as an intimate battle between both squads as it got to a 5-5 friction in the middle of it. However, after heroic saves from Mary Borromeo in a heated rally pushed the Lady Blazers to a 7-5 lead, the Tigresses were not able to snatch back momentum. Zamantha Nolasco, Pascual, and Estoque scored all the points in the set as they finished the match strong, 15-11, forcing another game against the fiesty Golden Tigresses.
Fiona Getigan received the honors for MVP of the game as she had nine excellent receives and four digs. Estoque meanwhile led the Lady Blazers with 18 points. Even though it was a tough loss for the Golden Tigresses, Poyos gave the Lady Blazers a tough afternoon as she stole the show with her jaw-dropping services, eight points particularly in that department, and 29 points overall.
The Lady Blazers will look to close things out against the Golden Tigresses in a do-or-die match on Nov. 4 at the same venue. There will be a live telecast on the Shakey’s Super League Facebook page and Plus Network.
SET SCORES: 25-22, 23-25, 18-25, 25-23, 15-11
DLS-CSB (3) - Estoque 18, Pascual 16, Nolasco, 13, Apostol 6, Gamit 5, Catarig 4, Mondoñedo 4, Gentapa 4, Ondangan 3, Densig 2, Borromeo 1, Basarte 0, Estenzo 0, Getigan 0
UST (2) - Poyos 29, Jurado 16, Banagua 12, Gula 10, Coronado 10, Perdido 4, Jackson 2, Carballo 2, Bacalso 1, Hilongo 1, Cordora 1, Limpot 0, Pepito 0, Rocafort 0