By Joey Villar (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines – St. Benilde leaned on Jeanette Panaga’s steady play as it repulsed Mapua, 25-10, 25-19, 21-25, 25-21, yesterday to grab the solo lead in the women’s division of the 92nd NCAA volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan City.

Panaga, last year’s Finals MVP, unleashed an 18-hit game, including 13 attack points, as the Lady Blazers notched their third straight win. She also came through with three aces and two blocks.

“She doesn’t talk that much but she makes sure to lead by example,” said St. Benilde coach Macky Carino, referring to her prized spiker.

Panaga took charge at endgame, unloading key hits after the Lady Cardinals took the third set and made a spirited comeback in the fourth.

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Unlike in their first two outings when they had to rally from early deficits, the Lady Blazers started out strong this time, imposing their will and strength to handily take the first two sets.