Lady Blazers reign in Golden Tigresses, obliging sudden death

College of St. Benilde Defeats University of Santo Tomas in Thrilling Shakey’s Super League Quarterfinals Match

In an intense showdown, NCAA champion College of St. Benilde (CSB) fought back against the University of Santo Tomas (UST) to secure a 25-22, 23-25, 18-25, 25-23, 15-11 victory in the Shakey’s Super League (SSL) Collegiate Pre-Season Championship quarterfinals. The match took place on Saturday, October 28, at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila.

Despite entering the match as the third seed with a twice-to-win disadvantage, the CSB Lady Blazers exhibited their championship pedigree by overcoming a 1-2 deficit and sealing the win in the fifth set. Wielyn Estoque led the charge with 18 points, including crucial back-to-back daggers, supported by Gayle Pascual and Zamantha Nolasco who contributed 16 and 13 points, respectively.

The victory forces a rubber match between CSB and UST next Saturday at the same venue. The winner will face either Far Eastern University or Ateneo in the semifinals of the SSL tournament, which is sponsored by Mikasa, Eurotel, Victory Liner, Summit Bottle Water, Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken, R and B Milk Tea, Potato Corner, Rebel Sports, Converge ICT Solutions, Genius Sports, and United Auctioneers, Inc.

Head coach Jerry Yee expressed his satisfaction with the team’s performance, highlighting their preparation and the rest they had prior to the match. “Lagi naman nating pipiliting manalo. Iba ‘yung game natin noon. May pinanggalingan tayo or kung ano mang sitwasyon noon but this time, nakapag-rest tayo at nakapag-prepare,” said Yee. “We’re able to put up a fight kahit paano.”

Facing the second-ranked UST, CSB found themselves on the brink of elimination after dropping the third set with a score of 18-25. However, fueled by the efforts of Estoque, Pascual, and Nolasco, they managed to stage a comeback and force a fifth and final set. Pascual and Nolasco played crucial roles on both the offensive and defensive ends, propelling CSB to break away from a 5-all tie and setting the stage for Estoque’s match-winning performance.

UST’s super rookie, Angeline Poyos, who was named Best Outside Hitter in the SSL National Invitationals, along with Regina Jurado, put up a valiant effort with 29 and 16 points, respectively. Mary Banagua also contributed 12 points, while Xyza Gula and Mary Coronado had 10 each. However, UST couldn’t capitalize on their win-once bonus in the SSL tournament, organized in cooperation with the Commission on Higher Education and the Philippine Sports Commission.

All matches of SSL Season 2 are available for live and on-demand viewing on the social media pages of Plus Network and SSL. Television coverage is provided by Solar Sports, Blast TV, and Aliw Channel 23.

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