BIÑAN, LAGUNA – Flaunting their veteran form, the RC Cola – Army Lady Troopers made short work of the New San Jose Buliders Victorias 25-15 , 25-20 , 25-14, sweeping the first elimination phase of the Philippine SuperLiga Invitationals at the Alonte Sports Arena.
The upstart San Jose Builders kept pace with Army early in the match. Tied at 11, the Lady Troopers rattled off 10 straight points behind Jovelyn Gonzaga’s serving and Rachel Daquis’ unstoppable attacking. Trailing 21-12, San Jose made plays at the net to trim the lead but the Lady Troopers finished with a flourish from Daquis and Ging Balse-Pabayo.
Building off their steady first set, the Builders took the Lady Builders to the brink in the second set. Jhamela Suyat and Lourdes Clemente provided the perfect offensive conpliment to their teammates’ workman-like defense. A Suyat kill knotted the set at 19, forcing an Army timeout. From there, Army’s veteran composure shone through, working off Tina Salak’s savvy setting. Although not given perfect passes, Salak still managed to toss right to her teammates’ sweet spot, ending the set with a highlight 1-2 play to Balse-Pabayo.
Retooled, the Lady Troopers ambushed their foes, erecting a 19-6 advantage. But the young Builders showed their mettle and made the set interesting, trimming the deficit down to seven, 12-19. Army’s lead, however, was too much as the Army’s Royse Tubino towed the match-finishing rally.
“Sa totoo lang wala pa kami talaga sa pinakamataas naming form. May mga bagay pa kaming kailangan ayusing especially with our conditioning. Hopefully makatulong ‘yung medyo matagal naming break,” said Army head coach Kungfu Reyes.
Team captain, Gonzaga finished with a game-high 14 points while Tubino and Daquis provided 12 and 11 points respectively.
Clemente towed the Builders with eight markers while Suyat added seven.
The Lady Troopers (3-0) now have an inside track on advancing to the Top 3 stage of the tournament where teams will face a yet-to-be-named Thai club team. San Jose falls to 0-3.
RC next sees action on the third phase of the elimination on March 15 at the FilOil Flying V Centre where they will take on the Foton Toppander. San Jose next takes the court on the second phase on March 8 also at the FilOil Flying V Centre against the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers.
RC Cola (3) – Gonzaga 14, Daquis 12, Tubino 11, Bautista 4, Balse-Pabayo 3, Bunag 3, Carolino 2, Gonzales 2, Delos Reyes 1, Sabas 1, Salak 0, Agno (L), Nunag (L)
New San Jose (0) – Clemente 8, Suyat 7, Verzosa 4, Rosal 3, Bravo 3, Yumul 2, Imbo 1, Medalla 0, Cabriana 0, Gual 0, Condada (L), Gayo (L)
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