SAN BEDA rebounded from a morale-deflating year-end defeat to College of Saint Benilde with a 25-18, 25-14, 25-13 conquest of Letran to move closer in clinching a semifinals berth in the NCAA women’s volleyball tournament yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Learning the lessons of last Dec. 17’s four-set defeat to the Lady Blazers that ended their unbeaten run, the Lady Red Spikers went aggressive right from the get-go to log their sixth win in seven contests.
The victory also enabled San Beda to keep defending champion Arellano University, which is still undefeated in six outings, within reach.
Earlier, St. Benilde rebounded from a second set defeat to turn back Lyceum of the Philippines University, 25-20, 18-25, 25-14, 25-18, and extend its winning streak to five.
Lady Red Spikers coach Mesio Gavino was simply glad that his troops opened the New Year with an emphatic win that they sorely needed heading to the tough battles ahead.
“Sa amin, yung mga errors. Sa training, binalikan namin kasi yan ang turning point kung bakit kami natalo (against the Lady Blazers). Thankful naman at nagawa namin yung gusto naming gawin,” said Gavino.
Nieza Viray had two service aces for a 17-point outing while her twin sister Ella scored all but one of her 11 points from attacks for San Beda.
“It was a confidence-booster for us. At least naka-recover ang mga teammates ko,” said Lady Red Spikers skipper Cesca Racraquin, who had nine points, 11 digs and seven receptions.
St. Benilde’s rookie playmaker Jewel Lai tossed in 35 excellent set and tallied two of her four points from blocks.
Rachel Austero had four blocks to finish with 14 points, Klarisa Abriam also scored 14 hits while Matet Pablo fired six service aces for a 12-point outing to go with 11 digs and 10 receptions for the Lady Blazers, who are now sitting in solo third at 5-1.
As the short eliminations is now reaching the homestretch, first year St. Benilde mentor Jerry Yee wanted his team to be sharp and focused.
“More consistency pa,” said Yee. ”Trabaho pa rin and then we have our targets up ahead. As a whole siyempre marami tayong spikers, marami tayong options pero we have to be consistent.”
Mikaela Rafael led the Lady Pirates (2-5) with 16 points, including two service aces and two blocks, while Chi Sindayen chipped in 13 hits and nine digs.
Mhae Mendoza had eight points while Chamberlaine Cuñada contributed six points and eight digs for the Lady Knights, who fell at 1-6.
In the men’s division, Francis Basilan and Joshua De Sequera combined for 20 points as St. Benilde moved in a tie with Arellano in second spot at 5-1 following a 25-16, 25-19, 25-23 romp of LPU.
Juniors action saw LPU defeat CSB-LSGH, 27-25, 21-25, 20-25, 25-23, 17-15, with Yoj Ylrev Pabiton finishing with 26 points.