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Philips Gold regains winning touch against winless Meralco



After a lackadaisical effort in their second round opener, the Philips Gold Lady Slammers took care of the Meralco Power Spikers swiftly, 25-12, 26-24, 25-19, for their fifth win in seven matches in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at the Malolos Sports Complex.

In their loss to the Foton Tornadoes last Thursday, the Lady Slammers suffered from a considerable lack of focus, throwing away balls and opportunities they would normally convert. Against a struggling Meralco side, Philips Gold got back to their winning form, blasting the La Salle-powered opposition with the stellar effort of their imports.

Meralco started each set strong but struggled to reply when the Lady Slammers unfurled their offensive brilliance. After a lopsided first set, the Power Spikers controlled much of the second set, coming back from a 19-21 deficit to grab the lead with three straight points, 22-21. Following a heated exchange, Philips took the lead, 24-23, which Meralco immediately erased for a deuce. A slew of errors did in the Power Spikers, who gave up two infractions in the last three points and a Cha Cruz attack error to give the set to the Lady Slammers.

Meralco seemed to rebound from the gut-wrenching loss in the third set, taking an early 8-6 lead. Philips, however, quickly took the life out of Meralco, scoring seven consecutive points for a 13-8 advantage. Multiple early timeouts could not hinder Meralco’s leaky form, eventually allowing the Lady Slammers to surge ahead by double-digits, 23-13, ending their hopes of a comeback.

University of Southern California standout Alexis Olgard took control of the middle of the net, notching 16 points for the Lady Slammers off 10 attacks, five blocks, and an ace. NU’s own Myla Pablo paced the Philips Gold offense with 13 markers, incluing 10 attacks, two aces, and a block. After coughing up a mountain of errors last Thursday, Philips limited their miscues to just 13 while Meralco had 24.

Philips Gold head coach, Francis Vicente praised his teams laser-like focus in ending the match swiftly. “Bumawi sila from last game kasi halata namang may kulang sa laro namin last time. Wala talaga kami sa focus. Ngayon, ginawa talaga nila ng sinabi ko. From start to finish, maganda ang pinakita namin,” he said. Vicente also praised his setter, Lindsay Dowd’s game. “Na-distribute niya talaga ng maayos ‘yung bola. Kita naman sa stats niya, nasunod ‘yung mga play na gusto namin.” Dowd unleashed 25 excellent sets after dishing out 14 in four sets last Thursday.

Meralco import Liis Kullerkann scored a team-high 11 points, while La Salle’s resident middle blocker Majoy Baron had nine markers.

Philips’ 5-2 record currently ties them with Cignal at second place. Meralco still sit at the bottom of the standings with an 0-7 slate.

The Scores

Philips Gold (3) – Olgard 16, Pablo 13, Todorovic 9, Gumabao 8, Ddang 4, Dowd 2, Loren 0, Malaluan 0, Espelita 0, Nepumoceno 0, Crisostomo (L), Gohing (L)

Meralco (0) – Kullerkann 11, Baron 9, Demecillo 8, Cruz 6, Reyes 4, Fajardo 3, Mercado 1, Dy 0, Esperanza 0, Sison (L), Macandili (L)


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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