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Benilde, Perpetual still dominant


Benilde, Perpetual still dominantIf the NCAA volleyball tournament seems like it is caught in a time loop, blame it on St. Benilde and Perpetual.

The Lady Blazers and the Altas continue to hammer down the opposition as they march almost inexorably to yet another championship conquest in the country’s oldest league.

St. Benilde was finally challenged on Sunday, but even the best that Lyceum could dish out wasn’t enough, resulting in a 21-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-21, 15-7 victory by the defending champions that allowed them to complete a nine-game sweep of the elimination round.

That most notable thing about that victory? It was the Lady Blazers’ 38th straight overall win that spans back to their last two season sweeps and back-to-back crowns.

READ: NCAA volleyball: Lady Blazers stretch unbeaten run

“[Winning] is not boring,” St. Benilde coach Jerry Yee said. “We’re still trying and we’re still eager to reach our goal [of winning the title].”

The Altas made that perfectly clear also.

Perpetual dumped Emilio Aguinaldo College, 25-23, 25-23, 25-23, in another match at Filoil EcoOil Arena, to vault straight to the Finals of the men’s division.

Reigning MVP Louie Ramirez spearheaded the Altas with 20 points to power the Altas to the best-of-three title showdown that starts on May 19.

Like the Lady Blazers, the Altas have been cruising through the field en route to their fifth straight elimination round sweep, which included a perfect run during the pandemic-shortened season four years ago.

The Generals were supposed to be the toughest test for the Altas. Emilio Aguinaldo rode into that showdown undefeated in eight matches so far.

But Perpetual proved to be in a class of its own.

Letran, at 5-3 (win-loss), is expected to clinch a semifinal with the last berth still being contested by several teams at press time.



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Gayle Pascual went on attack mode and led the Lady Blazers with 21 points, including crucial kills in the deciding set. Cloanne Mondoñedo bucked a tweaked ankle in the third set and finished with 20 excellent sets while chipping in two hits. INQ





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