25-21, 25-11, 25-10
COLLEGE of St. Benilde (CSB) coach Jerry Yee knew his team would come in a little rusty going into the opener of their NCAA Season 97 Volleyball title showdown with Arellano University (AU) after an 11-day hiatus.
But the soft-spoken coach was also aware that when the Lady Blazers get going, nothing, not even the reigning three-peat champions like the Lady Chiefs, could stop them.
Overcoming opening-set sluggishness, CSB showed little mercy in its 25-21, 25-11, 25-10 decimation of a listless AU side yesterday to move on the cusp of sweeping its way to its second league crown at the Filoil EcoOil Arena.
“In the first set we have problems with our game speed, my players had a hard time catching up,” said Mr. Yee, whose charges swept the elimination round in nine games to barge straight into the best-of-three finale.
“But I reminded them of what we should do and I’m glad they responded,” he added.
It was a devastatingly impressive victory for CSB, which could complete a historic sweep if it could repeat over AU, which survived Jose Rizal in the final game of the stepladder semis Sunday, in Game Two tomorrow.
Or the Lady Chiefs could miraculously summon supernatural grit and force a decider on Sunday for a chance at a potential four-peat feat.
But that would be highly unlikely considering CSB has been too good to be true especially on this one for the one-sided triumph that may have broken the will of AU.
Mr. Yee didn’t even call a single time out while counterpart, Obet Javier, stood up for most part of opener, barked instructions and pleaded for his wards to plod on.
The Lady Chiefs never did.
Jhasmin Gayle Pascual presided over the carnage with a match-high 17 points while Michelle Gamit, skipper Francis Mycah Go and Jade Gentapa joined the execution with 11, eight and seven hits, respectively.
Mr. Yee also had the luxury of playing two setters in Cloanne Sophia Mondonedo and Chenae Basarte, who split time and were equally efficient and effective in dishing out excellent set after excellent set that fuelled its relentlessly powerful attacking game.
“It’s the coach’s job to make the games boring and one-sided because if we allow it to be exciting, that’s my fault if we lose,” said Mr. Yee. — Joey Villar