MANILA -- Reigning NCAA champion College of St. Benilde pulled off a thrilling 24-26, 25-21, 21-25, 25-23, 15-11 win over Perpetual Help to secure the last playoff spot in the Shakey's Super League (SSL) Collegiate Pre-Season Championship.
The Lady Blazers recovered from a set down in Saturday's game at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum to finish Pool C with a 2-1 win-loss record. University of Santo Tomas topped the group with a perfect 3-0 slate.
The win allowed St. Benilde to gain a measure of revenge, as they had lost to Perpetual Help, 16-25, 25-20, 26-28, 25-16, 12-15, in the quarterfinals of the SSL National Invitationals last month.
Jade Gentapa led the way for CSB with 17 points on 15 hits, an ace and a block, but she got ample support from Zamantha Nolasco (12 points) and Corrine Apostol and Michelle Gamit who had 11 each. Jessa Dorog chipped in 10.
“Syempre po, masaya kasi na-overcome na namin ‘yung Lady Altas. Ginawa lang po namin ‘yung trabaho namin as a team at kung ano ‘yung role namin sa court,” said Gentapa.
Reigning NCAA MVP Mary Rhose Dapol had 24 points as Perpetual (1-2) made an early exit in the SSL Season 2.
Earlier, playoff-bound Far Eastern U denied Ateneo a quick passage by pulling off a reverse sweep, 22-25, 23-25, 25-20, 25-22, 15-10, for a perfect 3-0 record in Pool D.
Faida Bakanke put up 21 points with Gerzel Petallo and Manila Alberto pumping in 13 points for the Lady Tamaraws. Mitzi Panangin produced 11 more for the wards of coach Manolo Refugia.
“It’s all about my teammates helping me. I have confidence in myself,” said Bakanke in FEU’s epic comeback from two sets down in two hours and 17 minutes.
Lyann De Guzman scored 16 points in the tough loss for Ateneo, which tripped to 1-1 and now has to win against Emilio Aguinaldo College (0-2) to advance and dodge complications for a possible three-way tie with the lurking Mapua (1-2).
Ateneo and EAC duke it out on Sunday while NU and Adamson go for sweeps against Jose Rizal U and Adamson for the final elimination round games of the SSL.