SAN Sebastian College – Recoletos (SSC-R) showed its mastery of the fifth set as it edged San Beda in a marathon 25-21, 23-25, 30-32, 25-23, 15-13 victory on Tuesday and closed in on a Final Four spot in Season 97 NCAA volleyball at the Paco Arena.

Super rookie Kath Santos went on a spiking frenzy as she unleashed a career-high 24 points including a whopping 22 on kills to power the Lady Stags to a 5-2 record and a win away from barging into the semifinals alongside College of St. Benilde’s (CSB) Lady Blazers and Arellano University’s Lady Chiefs.

SSC-R would have to hurdle though at least one of its last two outings against Lyceum of the Philippines University on Friday and Letran on Sunday.

It was also the third victory out of the four five-set duels that the Lady Stags have gone through, underscoring their ability to handle the tremendous pressure of such nerve-wracking games.

SSC-R also had to rally from a 1-2 set down, a five-point deficit in the fourth set and an 8-10 disadvantage in the fifth and deciding set to snatch the come-from-behind triumph.

SSC-R coach Roger Gorayeb said they needed games like these to toughen up his wards.

“The girls still have a very low confidence level and still lacked exposures. Hopefully, these tough games would help them get that confidence,” said SSC-R coach Roger Gorayeb.

The Lady Red Spikers slipped to 2-5. — Joey Villar