St. Benilde Lady Blazers.

St. Benilde Lady Blazers. –NCAA/GMA PHOTO

Red-hot College of St. Benilde removed the final hurdle to a perfect elimination run—and to an outright berth in the championship—by sweeping past Arellano University, 25-15, 25-15, 25-14 in the NCAA Season 97 women’s volleyball tournament on Saturday at Paco Arena.

St. Benilde and its 9-0 (win-loss) card thus booked a free ride to the championship, where they will be competing for the title for the first time since winning it in 2016.

Arellano, the defending champion which had won the previous three completed seasons of the tournament, had itself partially to blame, yielding 18 points on errors against St. Benilde’s 13. The Lady Blazers made it worse for the Lady Chiefs by relentlessly dominating on attacks, 46-25.

But despite watching his team surrender just one set while steamrolling through the field, St. Benilde coach Jerry Yee is still wary.

“I still see a lot of things to improve on,” Yee said in Filipino. “Our blocking still needs work, our coverages, service; we still have a lot of work to do.”

Team captain Mycah Go, Jade Gentapa and Gayle Pascual stood at the forefront of the St. Benilde onslaught, collecting 15, 14 and 13 points, respectively.

The Lady Blazers will now await their championship rival as three other teams go through a rigorous stepladder series to determine who will earn a shot at the crown.

“Our routine will be the same,” he said. “We’re going to have to prepare for whoever we face. Study their game, watch, scout and count the percentages.” —contributed


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