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Go-less Benilde eyes title defense

Even without injured star Mycah Go, College of Saint Benilde is determined to defend its title in Season 98 National Collegiate Athletic Association women’s volleyball tournament starting 18 February.

Lady Blazers head coach Jerry Yee said the absence of Go — the league’s reigning Most Valuable Player — is a big blow to their title-retention campaign.

Go, who keyed the Lady Blazers to a perfect campaign last year, suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in a friendly match last week.

She will sit out for six to eight months, effectively putting her out of commission this year.

Still, the Lady Blazers are unfazed.

“Whoever is there will have to step up. In Mycah’s spot, we are like six to eight people deep so we are hardly bothered by her absence,” said Yee, a former national team head coach.

Tipped to step up in Go’s absence is veteran setter Cloanne Mondonedo, who used the previous Shakey’s Super League pre-season championship as her spring board for Season 98.

Mondonedo stressed that Go may be gone, but they are all willing to step up to keep the Lady Blazers’ campaign afloat.

“A lot of our seniors are still here,” she said.

“We are working hard for a smooth campaign next season.”

Yee admitted the pressure is on having won all their matches last season.

“We’re not thinking about staying undefeated,” Yee said.

“Staying undefeated is one of the factors that contribute to the pressure. Our focus should always be on our execution.”

“Also, I have to balance my time, which will be easy since I have been doing this for quite a long time. I just have to adjust and see what works. I just have to fix whatever problem that comes my way.”

Yee has also been tapped to coach Adamson in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.

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