MANILA, Philippines -- College of St. Benilde is the first team to secure a Final 4 ticket in the NCAA Season 97 women's volleyball tournament.
The Lady Blazers made quick work of the Jose Rizal University (JRU) Lady Bombers, 25-13, 25-21, 25-9, to improve to 7-0 and clinch a seat in the semifinals, Sunday afternoon at the Paco Arena.
Jade Gentapa led the way for St. Benilde with 16 points on 14 kills and two service aces, while Michelle Gamit scored four of her 12 points at the service line. Gayle Pascual, Mycah Go and Cristy Ondangan each had seven points, while setter Cloanne Mondoñedo chipped in four points and tossed in 18 excellent sets for the Lady Blazers.
It took CSB just 67 minutes to complete the win, the sixth time this season that they have beaten their opponent in straight sets.
"Excited. Siyempre, masaya. Pero hindi pa tapos. We just hope to play our best," said CSB head coach Jerry Yee as the Lady Blazers maintained their perfect start to the NCAA season.
Yee's team won comfortably in the first and third but needed to survive JRU's charge in the second set. The Lady Bombers saved a set point courtesy of a Sydney Riegos kill, right after Gentapa drilled back-to-back hits to put her team on the brink.
It was substitute hitter Queen Ann Salmon who came through with the clutch hit that put the Lady Blazers up two sets, and the Lady Bombers could not threaten from there.
The Lady Blazers can jump straight to the finals if they win all nine of their assignments in the tournament.
They will play University of Perpetual Help System Dalta on Wednesday before closing out the elims against titleholder Arellano University on Saturday.
Kia Melgar scored seven points while Dolly Verzosa also had seven points and collected six digs for the Lady Bombers, who fell to 3-4.