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Shopinas escapes tight closing sets over Philips Gold for second win

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Though they experienced multiple offensive dry spells throughout the match, the Shopinas.com Lady Clickers hung on thanks to the Lady Slammers’ errors and claimed their second straight win in straight sets 25-18, 26-24, 29-27 at the San Juan Arena.

The Lady Slammers had a more experienced lineup but their lack of chemistry was evident as most of their 34 errors could have been easily avoided. Though no Lady Clicker reached double digits, their veterans still pulled off a balanced attack as Cha Cruz and Steph Mercado both dished out nine points while team captain, Micmic Laborte put in eight.

The Lady Slammers had a miserable opening set as their receivers could not control their passes well enough for setter, Iris Tolenada to get their offense going. Shopinas leveraged a four-point lead, 16-12, heading into the second technical timeout and refused to look back, taking the opening set.

Philips Gold opened the second set with improved ball control resulting in a late four-point advantage 18-14. Lady Clickers’ Coach, Ramil De Jesus burned through his final timeout in trying to spark a fire for his team. His collegiate wards – Paneng Mercado, Cha Cruz, and Kianna Dy – responded, as the trio scored most of the points for their team as they rallied to tie the set at 23. The Lady Slammers scored the proceeding point to notch set point but blew their advantage with consecutive errors, handing the set to the Lady Clickers.

The third set unfolded much like the previous as the Lady Slammers mounted an early offensive assault behind Michelle Gumabao and Myla Pablo. Philips Gold held a late 20-17 lead before their own errors allowed Shopinas to creep back. The Lady Clickers forced another deuce wherein Philips Gold crumbled and gave up crucial errors down the stretch. Three straight errors sealed the match for the Lady Clickers.

According to Coach De Jesus, the Lady Clickers still have much to work on. “Mahirap talaga kasi in-season namin winoworkout ‘yung chemistry namin. Kaya pati ‘yung conditioning ng players wala pa rin sa gusto kong level. Buti na lang may mahaba kaming break para makapagensayo talaga ng maayos,” remarked De Jesus.

The Lady Clickers are off to a great start as they maintain an unblemished record at 2-0 while the Lady Slammers are yet to win a set in the conference.

The Scores:

Shopinas.com (3) – Cruz 9, Mercado 9, Laborte 8, Mandapat 6, Dy 6, Angustia 3, Cheng 2, Tan 1, Hingpit 1, General (L)

Philips Gold (0) – Gumabao 13, Pablo 9, Dawis 7, Tolenada 6, Mea 6, Dadang 6, Fajardo 0, Gohing (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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