Behind the troika of Jovelyn Gonzaga, Royse Tubino, and Rachel Daquis, the RC Cola-Army Lady Troopers displayed resiliency before wiping out the Petron Tri-Activ Spikers in three sets, 25-22, 25-23, 25-11, to stay undefeated in the 2016 PSL All-Filipino Conference, Wednesday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Gonzaga anchored the Lady Troopers with 15 markers, 13 coming from attacks and two from the block. Daquis and Tubino complemented their captain with 10 and nine markers each.
“Maganda lang yung nilaro namin,” said RC Cola head coach Kungfu Reyes humbly. “Yung Petron anytime puwede bumalik kaya lang nung bandang huli medyo nawala yung laro. Any moment puwede bumalik si Petron. Good thing for us sa amin natapat.”
The Lady Troopers and the Tri-activ Spikers figured in a close opening set, as both teams were knotted at 21-all. A block by Michelle Carolino followed by a kill from Tubino gave RC Cola a two-point cushion. After Bernadeth Pons scored off a combination play, Tubino was able to connect on a spike followed by a running attack by Gonzaga to close out the first set.
Just like in the first set, the two powerhouse squads went toe-to-toe in the opening moments of the second frame. With the game tied at 18-all, the resilient Lady Troopers were able to gain a three point cushion capped by a block by Daquis. Back-to-back off-speed attacks by Ces Molina cut the Army lead to just a solitary point, 21-22, but a net violation by Petron and a drop by Genie Sabas, her only point of the game, gave Army the second set.
“Nung first two sets nakikipagpukpukan kaya lang yung mga turning point na napupunta sa kanila na-stostop namin,” Reyes added. “Yung sa amin naman, nagdidiretsto kami. Nagkakataon lang na we were at the right place and at the right time. May halo na rin siguro na suwerte kami.”
After two heartbreaking sets, Petron’s morale went downhill in the third. Moreover, the blocking of Army became the main difference, as the Lady Troopers took an 11-3 lead and never looked back. A Tubino conversion, followed a Jeannie De Los Reyes ace, gave Army their fourth win in as many games.
“Nagkaroon lang kami ng teamwork at nag-enjoy kami sa laro. Although slow start yung tropa, slowly at surely lang nangyari sa amin at nabawasan namin ang service error namin,” Reyes concluded.
No Tri-activ Spiker scored in double-figures. Petron were led by Remy Palma’s nine markers followed by eight points from Ces Molina. Early MVP candidate Aiza Pontillas was a non-factor in the game, scoring just two points.
The Lady Troopers (4-0, T-1st) next face the Foton Tornadoes (2-2, 4th) on Saturday, July 16 at 4:00pm. Petron (3-1, 3rd), on the other hand, look to bounce back when they face the listless Amy’s Kitchen Spikers on the same day at 2:00pm. Both games will be played at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
RC Cola (3) – Gonzaga 15, Daquis 10, Tubino 9, Bunag 7, De Leon 4, De Los Reyes 2, Carolino 2, Gonzales 1, Sabas 1, Salak 0, Bautista 0, Agno (L).
Petron (0) – Palma 9, Molina 8, Aganon 7, Nunag 4, Pons 4, Pontillas 2, Rosario 1, Morada 0, Masangkay 0, Negrito 0, Pineda (L).