Gayle Pascual has put St. Benilde on the cusp of a sweep—and a second straight title.
Pascual continued to be a consistent producer for the Lady Blazers, who cruised past Lyceum, 25-17, 25-19, 25-19, in Game 1 of the NCAA women’s volleyball championship series on Tuesday at San Juan Arena.
The win was St. Benilde’s 28th straight overall, and Pascual has been integral to that run, beyond the 15 points she came up with against Lyceum.
“Gayle is who we’re expecting to be consistent. Whoever goes off, someone steps up and Gayle is the one who’s always scoring. It’s a good thing that we have Gayle,” coach Jerry Yee said in Filipino.
Pascual, meanwhile, said she is merely repaying her coach’s trust.
“[I’m] happy because that’s how much coach trusts me and the team as a whole. He always says that when someone’s missing, someone can be replaced. I trust in his system a lot,” the last season’s Finals Most Valuable Player said.
Pascual also credited setter Cloanne Mondoñedo, whose playmaking savvy proved key after compiling 12 out of the Lady Blazers’ 15 excellent sets in Game 1 to make the game “much easier” for St. Benilde.
“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 said.
“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.
Yee also praised Mondoñedo for her performance.
“She’s leading in the setting which makes our team lead in that category. I trust Clo,” Yee said of the spiker, who averages a league-leading 5.45 excellent sets per frame. “She really is our best setter.”
The Lady Pirates fought hard after losing the opening set, taking an 8-4 lead to make a game out of it. But the Lady Blazers strung up a 14-4 surge that took the fight out of Lyceum. INQ
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