Philippine volleyball

UST outlasts Benilde, books last SSL semis spot

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UST outlasts Benilde, books last SSL semis spot

SPIKE. UST’s Regine Jurado goes for a hit against St. Benilde’s Corrine Apostol and Zamantha Nolasco.


Surviving a late challenge, UST ousts St. Benilde in a knockout thriller to join NU, FEU, and Adamson in the final four of the Shakey’s Super League preseason volleyball tournament

MANILA, Philippines – University of Santo Tomas overcame a late scare to clinch the last semifinal seat in the  Shakey’s Super League (SSL) Collegiate Pre-Season Championship Season 2. 

The UST Tigresses held off the St. Benilde Lady Blazers, 25-15, 25-16, 19-25, 32-30, in a thrilling knockout quarterfinal duel on Saturday, November 4, at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum. 

After wasting a huge lead in the fourth set, the Tigresses recovered in time behind the heroics of Regina Jurado, Jonna Perdido, and Bianca Plaza for a sweet payback in the extended quarterfinals against the gritty Lady Blazers after a tough five-set loss in Game 1 last week. 

“We’re a young team against a veteran St. Benilde squad, a two-time NCAA champion,” said UST coach Kungfu Reyes, clearly proud of his Tigresses, who held a twice-to-beat advantage.

“We saw how solid they are, they didn’t give up,” said Reyes of the Lady Blazers. “We’re lucky that we won, because all our set-ups, attacks, combination plays, they were able to adjust.”

UST marched on to a knockout semifinal battle against the FEU Lady Tamaraws on Sunday, November 5. 

The NU Lady Bulldogs, the reigning champion and only unbeaten team in the tourney, and Adamson clash in the other Final Four pairing also on Sunday. 

Jurado unloaded 16 points, including a bevy of clutch hits in the fourth set to show the way for UST. 

Perdido and Angeline Poyos added 16 and 15 points, respectively, while Plaza made her presence felt in the final stretch with 4 points highlighted by the last 2 points for UST to win the extended duel, 32-30.

On the heels of a 22-25, 25-23, 25-18, 23-25, 11-15 loss in Game 1, UST imposed its will early by taking a commanding 2-0 lead only to cool down in the third set with a 25-19 defeat as St. Benilde proved its pedigree once again.

The Tigresses moved on the verge of a quick 3-1 victory with a 24-21 lead in the fourth, only to witness another Lady Blazers fightback to force a deuce and even snatch the driver’s seat at 27-26 off a Gayle Pascual hit. 

Jurado and Perdido took turns in neutralizing Rhea Mae Densing’s late hammers for a 30-all score before Plaza, who just subbed in the match for blocking purposes, uncorked two straight surprise attacks to lift UST to the hard-earned win. 

Pascual and Densing fired 16 and 15 points, respectively, for St Benilde under the watch of coach Jerry Yee. –  

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