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Philips Gold drubs RC Cola, regains prime position in semis race

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Behind a stellar effort from their starting six, the Philips Gold Lady Slammers devastated the struggling RC Cola-Air Force Raiders in straight sets, 28-26, 25-19, 25-15 in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix in the FilOIl Flying V Arena in San Juan City.

Air Force had an early advantage, leading the first set 20-17. But the Lady Slammers stormed back and forced a deuce. After trading attack points, RC’s errors did them in, recording two consecutive that handed Philips the first frame win. The Lady Slammers took control in the following sets, using stellar floor defense and blocking to put the Raiders away handily.

UCLA standout, Bojana Todorovic led the Lady Slammers with a rare volleyball triple-double of 19 points, 12 excellent digs, and 12 excellent receptions. 6’5’’ Washington native, Alexis Olgard pitched in 15 points while local Myla Pablo powered in 10 markers.

Having already secured a spot on the semis, Philips head coach Francis Vicente stressed the importance of coming out strong in their final games and securing a better position in the Top Four. “Lahat ng teams sa semis, malakas talaga, walang madaling kalaban. Kaya kami kailangan tuloy-tuloy lang. Kampante ako sa pinapakita ng mga player ko. ‘Yung locals namin pa-unti unting humahabol sa level of play ng mga imports namin, and that will be key moving forward,” Vicente remarked.

Philips (6-2) joins Petron (6-2), Cignal (6-2), and Foton (5-3) in the semis where the top seed will face the fourth seed and the second seed will play the third, both in a do-or-die match for a Finals spot.

“Siyempre mahirap kalaban ang Petron kasi may international experience na yan e. I’m not saying na iniiwasan namin sila, pero it would be much better for us kung sa Finals na namin sila makakalaban kasi doon [Finals], nothing to lose na kami e,” said Vicente about the defending champs adding that all the teams have their own strengths with which his team needed to prepare.

Philips next faces the Cignal HD Spikers with their two towering imports, Ariel Usher and Amanda Anderson on Thursday, Novermber 12 at the San Juan Arena.

Nebraska native, Sara McClinton topped the Raiders with 12 points while Puerto Rico National Team standout, Lynda Morales contributed nine markers. RC (1-7) will face the winless Meralco Power Spikers on Saturday, November 14 at the De La Salle University – Lipa Gymnasium.

The Scores

Philps Gold (3) – Todorovic 19, Olgard 15, Pablo 10, Dadang 6, Gumabao 4, Dowd 3, Espelita 0, Nepumuceno 0, Yongco 0, Gohing (L)

RC Cola (0) – McClinton 12, Morales 9, Ortiz 7, Caballejo 5, Yongco 4, Dimaculangan 2, Cases 1, Pantino 1, Semana 0, Tapic 0, Abanto (L), Balmaceda (L)

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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