Lady Chiefs stop Blazers, gain quarters
MANILA, Philippines - Arellano University pummeled St. Benilde with a ferocious attack and superb floor defense to fashion out a 25-19, 25-17, 25-16 victory and stretch its win run to three in Group A for at least a playoff for a quarterfinal berth in the Shakey’s V-League Season 11 First Conference at The Arena in San Juan yesterday.
Danna Henson and substitute Jovielyn Prado combined for 25 points as the Lady Chiefs, runners-up in the recent NCAA wars, outhit the Lady Blazers, 42-24, and came through with 20 excellent digs to complete their 70-minute domination of their NCAA rival.
“To tell you honestly, we didn’t expect to start the league with three straight wins although I’m really impressed with how my players are playing,” said Arellano U mentor Roberto Javier in Filipino.
Javier may also have found a gem in Prado, who is stepping up big with starter Menchie Tubiera struggling with her form in the early going of the season-opening tournament of the league sponsored by Shakey’s and backed by Mikasa, Accel and Lion Tiger Mosquito Coil.
“She’s a blessing to our team, I’m surprised with how she’s responding to the challenge,” said Javier of Prado.
Earlier, Adamson continued its surge after an opening day setback as it waylaid Southwestern U, 25-12, 25-14, 25-16, to post its second straight win and moved up to second to Arellano with a 2-1 card.
St. Benilde dropped to 1-1 in a tie with UAAP champion Ateneo, which dropped a five-setter to Arellano last Sunday.
Finding little opposition from the Lady Cobras, the San Marcelino-based tossers flexed just enough muscle to dominate the match in just 67 minutes with Mylene Paat putting in 10 hits to emerge as the top scorer.
Top hitter Shiela Mae Pineda, who averaged 11 hits in the first two games, settled for six points while Thai reinforcement Pacharee Sangmuang added nine markers, including two service aces, as the Lady Falcons bucked the absence of ace guest player Pau Soriano, who begged off to attend their school’s recognition rites.
“The key was we played our first ball well and turned it to scoring opportunities for us,” said Adamson coach Sherwin Meneses in Filipino.
Skipper Marleen Cortel and Jessica Galanza churned out eight hits each for Adamson.
SWU, which needed five sets to edge St. Louie U last week, took its second straight defeat after yielding a five-setter to St. Benilde last Tuesday, finding itself in danger of missing the quarterfinal round in the two-division, 12-team format of the league where it all started.
Marlyn Llagoso, who debuted with 19 hits against SLU, scored four kills and two blocks – her six-hit total proving to be SWU’s top score. Sheila Mae Bongo had five points while Loida Abellana, Sheena Quino and Dyan Darantinao added three markers apiece.