COLLEGE of Saint Benilde played just hard enough to beat Jose Rizal University, 25-22, 25-13, 25-20, to secure its second straight semifinals appearance in the NCAA women's volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre yesterday.
Coach Jerry Yee was able to shuffle his rotation splendidly as Lady Blazers needed only 70 minutes to bundle the Lady Bombers out of contention.
Later, Cesca Racraquin had 18 points, including three service aces and two blocks and had six receptions as San Beda downed University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, 25-20, 25-19, 25-16, to bolster its bid for the remaining three semis berths.
The Lady Red Spikers are now level with the Lady Altas in third place at 5-2.
"Nagtrabaho ang mga bata. Credit sa mga bata at sa coaching staff para makuha itong panalong ito," said San Beda mentor Mesio Gavino.
Perpetual was a mere shadow of the team that defeated defending champion Arellano University last week, looking flat on both ends of the floor that ended a five-match winning streak.
Nieza Viray chipped in 14 points while Kim Manzano had four blocks to finish with eight markers for the Lady Red Spikers.
Jhona Rosal led the Lady Altas with seven points while Yanca Tripoli, Charina Scott and substitute Hannah Suico contributed four points apiece.
Rookie standouts Gaylee Pascual and Mycah Go each scored eight points before sitting out the entire third set, while Michelle Gamit tallied three of her seven points from blocks for St. Benilde.
Klarisa Abriam, who only started in the third frame, also had seven points while Diane Ventura and Kaila Ventura chipped in six markers for the Lady Blazers.
Dolly Verzosa, JRU's leading scorer, struggled all-afternoon long with seven points, as setter Renesa Melgar took the scoring mantle with eight kills.
The Lady Bombers, who will miss the Final Four for the second year in a row, lost for the fifth time in eight matches. JRU will wrap up its season against Letran on Monday.
In the men's division, Ruvince Abrot had 25 points and nine digs as St. Benilde moved in a tie with Arellano in third place at 5-2 following a 25-20, 21-25, 25-12, 25-20 win over JRU.