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RC Cola-Army gobbles up Cignal en route to Playoff Sunday


Reeling from a disheartening loss last Tuesday, the RC Cola-Army Lady Troopers quickly found their groove, frazzling the Cignal HD Spikers in a one-sided straight setter, 25-16, 25-9, 25-23 in the final day of the 2016 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix elimination round at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Back in the familiar, air-conditioned arena in San Juan, the Lady Troopers executed their classic attack with veteran Tina Salak distributing the ball. Thanks to Army’s pinpoint service, Cignal struggled to control the ball.

Army cruised in the first two sets, taking a 16-9 lead in the first frame then establishing a 16-6 wall in the second set. The third set finally saw Cignal put up a fight after blitzing Army’s All-Filipino six for an 11-6 lead. But the three-time PSL champs hunkered down and slowly fought back, tying the set at 21. Then, Jovelyn Gonzaga and Rachel Daquis scored on back-to-back crucial transitions to give their team a 23-21 lead. After a Chie Saet ace, Gonzaga put away another smash to seal the game.

Former PSL MVP Gonzaga tallied a game-high 17 points while former NCAA MVP Royse Tubino added 10.

“Gusto talagang bigyan nang chance ‘yung mga locals namin kasi talagang kakailanganin sila sa mga susunod na laban. Hanggang saan lang namin kami kayang dalhin ng imports namjn kaya kami dapat ang magdala sa kanila,” said Army head coach Kungfu Reyes.

The Lady Troopers figure in a do-or-die contest on Sunday at the PhilSports Arena, taking on the Generika Lifesavers. Army took the season series from Generika 2-0, but Reyes insisted had to perform better or else miss the semifinals.

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“Pataas ang performance ng Generika at palaban talaga sila kaya hindi kami puwedeng basta-basta lang sa kanila,” added Reyes.

Import Laure Schaudt and Janine Marciano tallied seven points each for Cignal.

On Sunday, the HD Spikers look to end its seven-game losing streak against the red-hot F2 Logistics Cargo Movers for a semifinals seat.

The Scores

RC Cola (3) – Gonzaga 17, Tubino 10, Holst 5, Sabas 5, Daquis 4, Ripley 4, Salak 3, Malaluan 1, Gonzales 0, Agno (L)

Cignal (0) – Marciano 7, Shaudt 7, Mercado 5, Paat 3, Saet 3, Delos Santos 2, Laborte 2, Vivas 2, Bernal 0, Santos 0, Cortel (L)

Written By

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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