The Smart-Army Giga Hitters reached an unprecedented feat, copping a quarterfinals berth in the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Invitational Cup after zapping the University of the East-Cherrylume Iron Lady Warriors, 25-10, 25-15, 25-13, at the Imus City Sports Center.
Going winless in their maiden campaign in the Grand Prix, the Giga Hitters earned a shot to advance to the next phase of the Invitational Cup after going 3-1 in Group B of the PSL’s midyear tournament.
Smart head coach Kungfu Reyes praised his team’s persistence despite the age difference in the Army personnel and current UST Tigresses that comprise his team.
“Siyempre, may advantage ‘yung kapag bata o beterano ‘yung team mo at may disadvantages din. Siguro sa amin nagkaroon lang talaga ng balance,” said Reyes.
His squad put up a balanced spread offensively, with Joane Bunag and Lutgarda Malaluan each providing eight points. The Giga Hitters also limited the Lady Warriors to just 18 attack points, the lowest any team has tallied this tournament.
Smart can even go as high as the first seed in Group B and earn an outright semis berth, depending on the result of the Cignal HD (3-0)-Cocolife (1-2) matchup on Saturday.
Mary Anne Mendrez led the Lady Warriors with 11 points. UE drop to the 7th-10th classification stages.
Smart (3) – Bunag 8, Malaluan 8, Pacrez 7, Dizon 5, Gutierrez 5, Pabayo 4, Viray 4, Pacres 3, Sabas 3, Bicar 2, Francisco 1, Gonzales 0, Agno (L), Nunag (L)
Cherrylume-UE (0) – Mendrez 11, Abil 4, Catindig 3, Lopez 1, Sta. Maria 1, Alcayde 0, Clavano 0, Gabrada 0, Olarve 0, Ramos 0, Santos 0, Babol (L), Pastorfide (L)