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CSB claims first NCAA women's volley title after downing Baste in decider

Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM—CSB's championship moment finally came.

The Lady Blazers won their very first NCAA women's volleyball crown with a 25-22, 25-23, 22-25, 25-22 victory over the San Sebastian Lady Stags in the final day of the championship series at the FilOil Flying V Arena on Thursday night.

CSB, which came to the stepladder playoffs as the fourth seed, took control of the first two sets and appeared to be heading to the straight set win after taking a 22-20 lead late in Set 3.

But San Sebastian, which forced the stepladder format of the knockout stages after sweeping the eliminations, mounted a comeback and forced Set 4.

The Lady Blazers sizzled anew at the start of the fourth period, prompting Coach Roger Gorayeb to make a gamble by subbing out Queen Stag Gretchel Soltones for Dangie Encarnacion.

The surprise roster shakeup almost paid off as Baste regained momentum and took a 20-18 lead.

But Jeannine Navarro led CSB's final push to finish off San Sebastian.

Navarro paced the scoring for the Lady Blazers with 18 points, all on spikes, while Jeanette Panaga, the eventual Finals MVP, added 16 points with seven blocks.

Soltones tallied a game-high 19 markers for the Lady Stags.

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