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Army survives Coast Guard scare, locks semi finals top spot



Already assured a spot in the semifinals, the Philippine Army Lady Troopers continued their winning streak in the Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference, surviving a third set scare from the Philippine Coast Guard Lady Dolphins to book a straight set victory, 25-4, 25-12, 33-31, at the FilOil Flying V Arena, Sunday afternoon.

The Lady Troopers quickly smashed their opposition in the opening sets, as backup setter Sarah Jane Gonzales distributed sets to her attackers while the Lady Dolphins struggled to control the Lady Troopers’ offense. Philippine Army continued their offensive brilliance against Coast Guard in the following set, with Jovelyn Gonzaga and Honey Royse Tubino leading the Lady Troopers in penetrating the scrappy floor defense and reception of the Lady Dolphins.

Rossan Fajardo did the damage for the Lady Dolphins in the early part of the third set, chasing down Philippine Army to take the lead, 16-15, at the second technical timeout. Gonzaga and Ging Balse stepped up for Army in creating a slim lead over Coast Guard at 21-20, but the Lady Troopers’ errors helped Coast Guard force several deuces with Fajardo and Cristel Rosale providing timely attacks. Still the Lady Troopers hung on behind an off-the-block Tubino kill and an ace from Remy Palma to notch their fourth straight win.

Despite almost surrendering the third set to the Lady Dolphins, Army Head Coach Kungfu Reyes said it was good for his team to experience a tight match to test the their camaraderie.

“At least nalalagay namin ang sarili naming sa real situation, kasi sa practice hindi mo makikita iyan. This is a good experience for the team and also for Coast Guard, sabi ko nga kay Coach Butch (Ordon) bakit ganoon ang nilaro ng mga players, sabi niya takot. Kung takot ka magkamali sa huli hindi mo makikita sa team kung sino ang ready mag-step up,” Reyes said.

Gonzaga topscored the Lady Troopers with 20 points, adding 10 digs, while Palma chipped 13 markers and provided six digs. Meanwhile Gonzales tossed 37 excellent sets.

The Lady Troopers (4-0) will wrap up their elimination round campaign against the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons(2-1) on November 14 at 3:00 PM, while the Lady Dolphins bowed out of the semifinals race and ended their elimination round campaign with a 1-4 win-loss.

The Scores:

PHI Army (3) – Gonzaga 20, Palma 13, Tubino 11, Balse 7, Bunag 7, Gonzales 4, Carolino 2, Bautista 0, Nunag 0, Agno (L), Siatan (L)

PHI Coast Guard (0) – Fajardo 7, Dawson 6, Rosale 4, Macabuhay 2, Ponon 2, Emiong 1, Manansala 0, Ogana 0, Clarete 0, Valencia 0, Acepcion (L), Abrenica (L)

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