• Red Spikers upend Lady Blazers

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    Saint Benilde’s JeanettePanaga foils San Beda’s JanineMarciano’s spike but the RedSpikers went on to thwart theLady Blazers in the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conferenceduel at the Philsports Arena.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    Saint Benilde’s JeanettePanaga foils San Beda’s JanineMarciano’s spike but the RedSpikers went on to thwart theLady Blazers in the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conferenceduel at the Philsports Arena.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    Guest player Janine Marciano hammered in 16 hits as San Beda pulled off a 25-16, 25-21, 25-20 victory over reigning NCAA champion St. Benilde in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Collegiate Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig on Saturday.

    The Red Spikers battled the Lady Blazers in a tight contest majority of the way but put on a stronger finish behind Marciano and fellow reinforcement Wenneth Eulalio in each frame to complete their mastery of the Taft-based squad.

    Francesca Racraquin also stepped up in the third and pumped in the bulk of her 14-hit output as San Beda closed out its elims campaign in Group B of the two-division mid-season conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s with a 1-3 card.

    “It’s a good feeling notching a win in the Shakey’s V-League and beating the NCAA champion,” said SBC coach Nemesio Gavino. “We hope to start something big from our experience here.”

    St. Benilde dropped all its four matches in the league backed by Mikasa as official ball and Accel as official outfitter but remained upbeat of its title-retention bid in the NCAA.

    Earlier, defending champion Ateneo warded off National College of Business and Arts’ third set fightback with a gritty defense, fashioning out a 25-20, 25-16, 28-26 triumph yesterday for its third straight win in the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Collegiate Conference,
    Reigning league and UAAP MVP Marck Espejo hammered in 11 kills for a 12-hit effort while Russian-American Antony Paul Koyfman backed him up with 11 markers, including eight attack points and three blocks, as the Eagles moved closer to a semifinal appearance with a 3-0 mark in Group B.

    The NCBA Wildats fell to their third straight defeat.

    After handily winning the first two sets, the Eagles needed to toughen up on their defense to foil the Wildcats’ comeback and complete the straight-set win.

    “It’s about adjusting defensively and we did especially in the third set,” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro, seeking to steer the Loyola-based school to a back-to-back championship in the league organized by Sports Vision.

    In the other game, Far Eastern U also held off Phl Merchant Marine School, 25-19, 25-16, 25-23, to pick up its second win against a loss in Group A.

    This year’s Open Conference MVP Greg Dolor unloaded 12 points while Richard Solis contributed 10 markers as the Tams bolstered their own semis bid behind NCAA champion Perpetual Help and National U, which pace the field with 2-0 marks.
    Like the Wildcats, the Mariners fell to 0-3.

    Ateneo goes for the first of two Final Four slots against University of Santo Tomas on Aug. 20 at The Arena in San Juan City or University of the Philippines on Aug. 29 at the Philsports Arena.

    Only the top two teams from each group of six will advance to the best-of-three semis of the mid-season conference of the country’s premier men’s volley league backed by Mikasa as official ball and Accel as official outfitter.

    The Tigers and the Maroons are at joint second with 2-0 marks.

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