VIETSOVPETRO shut out Philippine Army in the fifth set behind its two Russian hitters and completed its fightback from two sets down to snatch an 18-25, 14-25, 25-22, 25-23, 15-8 victory and capture the V-League Invitational Club Championship at The Arena in San Juan recently.
Anactaxia Trernai took over in a fiery charge in the decider, accounting for six of the first 10 points that the Vietnamese took in a rather straightforward fashion as the Troopers lost the ferociousness they showed in overpowering their fancied rivals in the first two sets.
The hosts failed to recover from that 0-10 hole in the race-to-15 fifth set although Rachel Daquis and Joanne Bunag tried to rally the Troopers to no avail as Tam Minh Hoang and Loan Thi Tran stepped up to deliver the last two points, including Tran’s spike that slipped past the hands of Mary Jean Balse.
Vietnam, which also beat Army in three in the elims of the four-team tournament sponsored by Shakey’s Pizza, thus swept all its four matches, including one that mattered most.
Trernai, who led VIETSOVPETRO’s comeback in the third set, wound up with 24 points, including 22 attacks, while fellow Russian import Ekaterina Martynova backed her up with 17 points, mostly from running attacks coming off the back of the team’s setter.
Martynova later bagged the MVP honors in the tournament organized by Sports Vision and backed by Accel and Mikasa.
It was a sorry loss for the Troopers, who had appeared to have pinned down the Viets with their heads-up play in the first two sets, which they won in convincing fashions. But after Trernai and Martynova imposed their will in the third, the Shakey’s V-League Season 8 second conference champions wavered and reeled with botched plays and errors.
They nearly completed a big comeback in the fourth set as they battled back from seven points down to grab a 23-21 lead through the combination of Daquis, Bunag and Cristina Salak.
But Trernai came through with a kill and a service ace and after Daquis committed an error, Bunag hit it long, enabling the Viets to force a decider and gain the needed momentum.
Bunag finished with 17 hits while Daquis added 15, Marietta Carolino scored 13 and Michelle Carolino added 10. Salak and Balse combined for 17 points.
Earlier, Malaysia struggled past Ateneo in the first two sets but stamped its class in the third to essay a 25-22, 25-21, 25-13 victory and clinch third place honors.
The Malaysians broke away from a tight contest in the third with solid net defense and a series of kills from Yew Sook Ting as they took the last seven points to complete the straight-set victory.
The Eagles kept the game close at 12-15 and 13-16 in the third but after losing the next two points on a quick set by Malaysia and an error, the first conference champions of the Shakey’s V-League Season 8 failed to deliver coming off their final timeout.
The visiting team scored on a couple of kills, a service ace and blocks, the last against Fille Cainglet that wrapped up the one-hour and 14-minute encounter.
“The level of play here is tough and we came here to win. But we lost our first two games so this is a memorable win,” said Malaysian coach Mohd Shaili Sukor.
Malaysia also dropped its third game in the elims, bowing to powerhouse Vietnam, 13-25, 21-25, 26-24, 16-25, last Saturday.
But they came out strong in their second face-off with the Eagles as Yew, along with Teh Huei Hong and Tan Chiew Lee, spearheaded the Malaysians charge from start to finish.
Yew finished with 18 hits, including 14 attacks and three blocks, while Teh wound up with 13 and Tan added 10 for Malaysia, which also drew a combined 21-point output from Jocelyn Teoh, Tien Fei Wong, Kuan Lay Lim and Jay See Lee.
Alyssa Valdez came away with 15 kills for a 17-point production while Cainglet added 12 points for the Eagles, who simply lost steam in the end. Dzi Gervacio scored seven points while Gretchen Ho and Jem Ferrer had four and two hits, respectively.(pr)