By: Ohmer Bautista
Battling for a win to raise their momentum into the second round, the PacificTown–Army Lady Troopers came alive late, slipping past the BanKo Perlas Spikers in a five-set thriller, 25-22, 23-25, 27-29, 25-20, 15-7, in the PVL Reinforced Conference Season 3, Sunday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
With the win, the Lady Troopers finished their first round campaign with a 3-2 card, enough to snag solo third.
Trailing by a set to enter the fourth after dropping the two previous sets, Army head coach Kung Fu Reyes shuffled his rotation, fielding in seldom-used Jem Guttierez in the process – an adjustment made all the more worth it by Guttierez herself, as she spearheaded the Lady Troopers to a 19-16 cushion, breaking loose from a tight affair.
“Nakatadhana na mag-fifth set kami ngayon para mabunot ko si Jem,” Reyes quipped.
With momentum on their side, PacificTown forged the very first fifth set of the season.
In the decisive set, Olena Lymareva-Flink caught fire in an 8-1 spurt that put the Lady Troopers to a winning position. Kia Bright and Nicole Tiamzon tried to will the Perlas Spikers back into the game after knocking within four, 7-11.
That, however, proved to be their last roar as Guttierez and Nene Bautista conspired for the closing run, with the latter unloading back-to-back hits to seal the deal for Army.
“Talagang match na match kami ni BanKo. First four sets, dikit na dikit kami. Nagkakahiwalay lang kami pagdating sa dulo,” the enlisted army personel added.
Jenelle Jordan, who led the opening set stampede, finished with the game-high 23 points spiked by two blocks. Flink-Lymareva added 19 points while Honey Tubino had 16.
Army setter Alina Bicar supplied 26 excellent sets to go along 10 markers, four of which came from aces.
For BanKo, four spikers broke through double-digit territory, as Bright poured in 20 markers. Tiamzon chipped 17 points while Kathy Bersola and Yasemin Yildrim scored 10 points each.
BanKo, who ends the first round with a 2-3 record at solo 4th, opens the second round versus the unbeaten Petro Gazz Angels on June 12, Wednesday at the FilOil Arena. PacificTown, on the other hand, faces Motolite on June 16, Sunday, at the Imus Sports Complex.
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