The weary yet decorated veterans of the RC Cola-Army Lady Troopers are making one more run at greatness.
Three-time Philippine Superliga champions RC Cola-Army entered the 2016 Grand Prix semifinals after pounding the Generika Lifesavers 25-20, 25-19, 25- at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
The Lifesavers entered the match with vigor, even taking a momentary lead in the first set, 8-5. But the Lady Troopers eventually whittled the lead down through tough target serving. Army took the lead permanently in the first frame, 16-13, and never looked back. Generika continued to squander receptions in the next two sets, leading to big Army leads which they could not conquer.
“Nag-focus talaga kami sa service at service reception namin. Nakuha talaga namin sa service ‘yung mga target namin kanina kaya nakuha namin agad ‘yung panalo. Maganda din ‘yung kinalabasan ng ensayo namin kasi talagang inayos namin ‘yung receive at footwork namin, especially for the imports,” said Army assistant coach Rico De Guzman who sat in for head coach Kungfu Reyes. Reyes was coaching the UST Junior Tigresses in the UAAP Season 79 Girls Volleyball Finals.
Former PSL MVP Jovelyn Gonzaga racked up 13 points while imports Hailie Ripley and Kierra Holst had 12 and 11 markers apiece.
The Lady Troopers move on to the do-or-die semifinal on December 3 at Legazpi, Albay where they face the top-seeded Foton Tornadoes.
“Talagang lamang sa amin sa height ang Foton. Kaya dadaanin na lang namin sa bilis. Hindi din pwuedeng bibigay na lang namin sa import ‘yung bola kasi maganda ‘yung blocking nila. Kailangan lahat nang locals mag-contribute,” added De Guzman.
Ukranian reinforcement Polina Liutikova towed Generika with 10 markers while Darlene Ramdin and Ria Meneses each had nine markers.
Generika also plays in Albay, taking on the loser of the F2 Logistics-Cignal playoff match.
RC Cola-Army (3) – Gonzaga 13, Ripley 12, Holst 11, Tubino 9, Malaluan 6, Daquis 3, Salak 3, Bautista 1, Gonzales 0, Torres (L), Agno (L)
Generika (0) – Liutikova 10, Meneses 9, Ramdin 9, Tiu 5, Adorador 4, Casugod 4, Baliton 1, Cortez 1, De Leon 0, Pagdanganan 0, Arado (L)