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Army eclipses rival Lady Rising Suns in straight sets

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The Philippine Army Lady Troopers displayed their top form after ousting the Cagayan Valley Lady Rising Suns in straight sets, 25-16, 25-21, and 25-22, in the Shakey’s V-League Season 12 Open Conference Sunday afternoon at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan City.

The Lady Troopers made short work of Cagayan in the opening set. From a slim 17-13 lead, Army coasted to post a six-point cushion, 21-15, after a service ace from Jovelyn Gonzaga. Army then scored four more points off errors by Cagayan to snatch the first set with a huge nine-point margin, 25-16.

Cagayan regained their bearings come the second set, erasing an 18-12 deficit to inch within two, 19-17, after an Aiza Maizo-Pontillas drop over Army’s defense. However, the Lady Rising Suns failed to spark a run, as they saw themselves on the brink of dropping another set, 24-20, after Army scored off a Gonzaga hit. A checkball from Maizo-Pontillas made it 24-21, but a net interference from the Cagayan frontline propelled Army to a 2-0 advantage, 25-21.

The Lady Rising Suns gave Army’s defense a run for their money, keeping it close in the third and final set. Lagging behind by five, 20-15, Cagayan, after an open hit by Sheila Pineda, closed by two, 21-19. Both teams exchanged rallies, and Army finally reached match point. 24-21, after a Gonzaga block. Gonzaga also closed out the match with a quick attack, 25-22, to seal the victory for Army.

Despite Dindin Santiago-Manabat sitting out the game, three Lady Troopers scored in double figures in today’s win. Gonzaga had 13 attacks, 3 blocks, and 2 service aces to lead Army with 18 points. Nerissa Bautista had 12 points with 10 attacks, while Rachel Anne Daquis scored 11. Cagayan, meanwhile, were led by Maizo-Pontillas with 16 points.

The victory secured Army the second seed for the next round, while Cagayan got the third spot with the loss.

The scores:

Army (3) – Gonzaga 18, Bautista 12, Daquis 11, Salak 8, Sabas 5, Balse 3, Aganon 1, Siatan-Torres (L), Agno (L)

Cagayan (0) – Maizo-Pontillas 16, Pineda 9, Soriano 8, Vargas 6, Eulalio 3, Saet 2, Meneses 1, Gillego (L)

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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