Having come close in their debut match, the Iriga City Lady Oragons notched an impressive straight-sets win over the Baguio City Summer Spikers, 25-22, 25-17, 26-24 for their first-ever Shakey’s V-League win at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Both squads struggled with ball control in the opening stages, but Iriga used their superior height and attacking to maintain a steady three-point edge. Baguio mounted a late rally to come within one, 22-23, but Iriga’s Graze Bombita and Karen Levina converted on the next two points to end the set.
Iriga cruised in the second set through steady defense but struggled in the third frame. Baguio made the most out of Iriga’s errors and bad passes to keep a three-point barrier that persisted until they were up 20-17. Baguio’s reception then fell through, allowing Iriga to tie the match and eventually get first crack at the set, 24-23. Maria Tsuchiya banged a hit off two blockers to force a deuce, but Baguio succumbed the next point off an error.
After scoring 16 in their loss to Laoag, Graza Bombita again towed the Lady Oragons with 15 markers. JRU-standout Shola Alvarez added 11 points.
“Noong unang game namin talagang kabado pa kami. Hindj pa kasi din kami sanay sa ganitong venue, sa live TV, tapos may crowd pa,” said Iriga head coach Elvis Pabilona. “Ngayon nakapag-adjust na kami. Hopefully, maayos pa namin yung mga pagkukulang namin.”
Iriga City’s newly re-elected mayor, Madelaine Alfelor-Gazmen, made her semi-professional debut and started the third set but was unable to record a point.
Tsuchiya was the only Summer Spiker in double-digits with 12 points. Carmela Dickensen added eight markers.
Mayor Gasmen and the Lady Oragons (1-1) will next face the Bali Pure Purest Water Defenders (0-1) on Wednesday, June 8 at 4:00pm. The Summer Spikers (0-1) will have a tough task in their next outing as they face the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons (0-1) on the same day at 6:30pm.
Iriga (3) – Bombita G. 15, Alvarez 11, Co 8, Bombita A. 5, Levina 5, Cabriana 4, Faurillo 2, Guab 1, Alfelor-Gazmen 0, Pacino (L), Almelor (L)
Baguio (0) – Tsuchiya 12, Dickensen 8, Costales 4, Atuban 3, Rossi 3, Arances 2, Atuban 1, Reyes 1, Balantac 0, Belsa 0, Abella (L), Degay (L)