MANILA, Philippines—College of St. Benilde spiker Gayle Pascual had her way to push the Lady Blazers on the cusp of a second consecutive NCAA volleyball crown on Tuesday.
But Pascual didn’t do it alone with Cloanne Mondoñedo also a big part of the victory thanks to her steady playmaking.
Mondoñedo orchestrated Benilde’s offense, dishing out 15 excellent sets as the Lady Blazers dominated the Lady Pirates, 25-17, 25-19, 25-19, in the finals opener.
Her stellar performance on the tournament’s biggest stage certainly didn’t come as a surprise for coach Jerry Yee.
“She’s leading the league in the setting department which also makes our team number in that category. Plus, we have the top two spikers in the league. I trust Clo,” Yee said in Filipino.
“For us, she really is our best setter.”
Pascual said Mondoñedo made playing “much easier” with the way she scattered the ball.
“I’m happy because her distribution was good. All of our teammates were given opportunities. Our points were scattered so we really played like a team that trusts each other,” Pascual, the Season 97 Finals MVP, said after unloading a game-high 15 points.
“Maybe that’s why the game came much easier today because our outside hitters weren’t the only ones who scored but also our middles,” she added.
Mondoñedo averages a league-best 5.45 excellent sets per frame while Pascual is the tournament’s second-best scorer.
The Lady Blazers, winners of 28 straight dating back to Season 95, go for a perfect campaign in Game 2 on Friday.
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