College of Saint Benilde showcased its defensive prowess against Far Eastern University, securing a 25-18, 25-18, 25-16, victory in Game 1 of the women's division in the 2023 V-League Collegiate Challenge Finals on Wednesday at the Paco Arena in Manila.
The Lady Blazers will attempt to clinch the title in Game 2 against the Lady Tamaraws on Friday at 4 p.m.
Benilde heavily relied on its defensive strategies and transition plays to thwart FEU's previously potent attacks. Their substantial 22-11 lead in the third set proved more than sufficient for the NCAA champions to secure the series opener.
"Kami ay patuloy na magpapalakas ng aming depensa at blocking. Sa ngayon, ito ay nagbunga sa Game 1, at sana ay magpatuloy ito hanggang sa Game 2," ayon kay CSB assistant coach Jay Chua.
Three Lady Blazers achieved double-digit scores, with Jade Gentapa leading the way with 13 points. However, it was Gayle Pascual's versatile performance, contributing 12 points and 10 digs, that propelled CSB to victory.
No Lady Tamaraw reached double figures in scoring, with Faida Bakanke leading her team with eight points. Chenie Tagaod and Keisha Bedonia were limited to six points each.