NCAA: Benilde sweeps Arellano in women’s finals rematch, Mapua bolsters Final Four bid
MANILA, Philippines—The rematch of last year’s finalists College of St. Benilde and Arellano pretty much had the same outcome in the NCAA Season 98’s women’s volleyball elimination round as the Lady Blazers swept the Lady Chiefs anew, 25-15, 25-21, 25-19, at San Andres Complex on Wednesday.
Despite playing without star player Mycah Go, the Lady Blazers remained a force to be reckoned with this season as hiked their unbeaten run to eight games this season.
“[The win was due to] maybe our confidence and our trust in each other,” said Cloanne Mondoñedo after finishing with five points and 17 excellent sets for St. Benilde, which ended Arellano’s reign last season.
“They (Arellano) are an NCAA team that we really prepared for. Admit it or not, every team improved and they’re one of those that did.”
St. Benilde, already through to the semifinals, can complete a sweep of the elimination round against Jose Rizal U on Sunday.
Gayle Pascual, who was last week’s NCAA Player of the Week, had an efficient game to the tune of 17 points, converting 15 of her 29 spikes.
Moming Padillon was the silver lining for the Lady Chiefs who damaged their playoff hopes and dropped to fifth place with a 4-3 card.
Mapua, on the other hand, moved up the ladder after sweeping already-eliminated San Beda, 25-23, 25-19, 26-24, to tie with Lyceum for the third seed.
Roxie Dela Cruz was the central point of the offense for the Lady Cardinals, scoring 15 points built on six service aces, six digs and five receptions as they improved to a 6-2 record.
“I’ve been constantly challenging our players. Our fate this season is in our hands,” said Mapua coach Aying Esteban in Filipino. “If we don’t want to have problems, we need to win our next game.”
Mapua’s win gave it a one-and-a-half-game lead over Arellano.
Meanwhile, Arellano’s male counterpart outlasted the Blazers in four sets, 25-20, 25-13, 21-25, 25-14, behind Adrian Villados’ heroics.
Villado tallied seven points and 22 excellent sets as the Chiefs hiked their record to 6-1.