Needing a boost from its bench get over the hump, the Shopinas.com Lady Clickers shut down the Cignal HD Spikers in four sets 25-23, 27-25, 17-25, 25-19 at the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan, Laguna.
The HD Spikers were their usual pesky selves, dragging teams into the deep water late in sets only to drown in their own errors or inability to pass the ball. Paneng Mercado led all scorers with 20 points while Cha Cruz and Arianna Angustia contributed 15 and 12 points respectively.
The story of the match, however, was Shopinas’ bench brigade who were key in trouncing the HD Spikers. Kim Dy subbed in for Micmic Laborte in the first set and dished out seven points. Seldom used setter April Rose Hingpit and utility hitter, Wensh Tiu played the entire fourth set for the Lady Clickers in place of Welsh Cheng and Rizza Mandapat respectively. Hingpit notched a point and eight excellent sets in her sole set of action while Wensh Tiu scored all five of her points in the final set.
Their contributions were huge for a Shopinas team with known issues with conditioning. “Sa game na lang mismo ‘yung nagiging practice namin. Mas maganda pa sana ang malalaro namin kung may matino kaming ensayo,” Shopinas Coach Ramil De Jesus said.
Tomasina Mela Tunay led the HD Spikers’ balanced offensive assault with 15 points. Middle blocker, Jeanette Panaga dished out 13 points while Momay Vivas and Lourdes Clemente each pitched in 12 markers.
Shopinas tightens its strangle hold on the second seed with a 5-3 slate with Philips Gold and Foton hot in their heels. The second seed gets a bye into the second round of the playoffs. The Lady Clickers looks to clinch the second seed when they fave the undefeated Petron Blaze Spikers on Monday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Cignal’s loss further entrenches them in last place with their 1-7 record. They will face the Foton Tornadoes on Monday.
Shopinas.com (3) – Paneng 20, Cruz 15, Angustia 12, Dy 7, Tiu 5, Mandapat 4, Cheng 3, Laborte 1, Hingpit 1, General (L), Sison (L)
Cignal (1) – Tunay 15, Panaga 13, Vivas 12, Clemente 12, Mangui 8, Navarro 5, Ancheta 2, Bravo 2, Segodine 0, Ticar 0, Nepumoceno 0, Dionela (L), Enclona (L)
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