Air Foce’s Joy Cases bangs away a kill against PNP’s Janine Marciano, Michelle Datuin and Ana Concepcion during their Shakey’s V-League Open Conference duel yesterday.(PR photo)
Cagayan Province put on a strong finishing kick to thwart Army in a power-game, 25-15, 20-25, 19-25, 25-18, 15-9, and complete an amazing sweep of the elims and the quarters in the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 Open Conference before a big Sunday crowd at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Rising Suns fought back from 1-2 set down by taking the last two, breaking away from a tight 8-7 count in the decider behind its fancied troika of Thai ace Kannika Thipachot, Aiza Maizo and Angeli Tabaquero en route to the 1:50-hour victory, their 12th straight, and formalizing their claim on the top seeding in the Final Four.
Cagayan will take on No. 4 Air Force in the best-of-three semis beginning tomorrow with the No. 2 Army and the third seeded Smart-Maynilad clashing for the other finals berth.
The Rising Suns won four of next five points after changing court in the fifth to turn a shaky 8-7 margin into a 12-8 lead then took three of the next four points to wrap up the match and re-assert their mastery over the Army Women, whom they swept in the elims.
The five-setter was also Cagayan and Army’s third straight game that went the distance, underscoring the level playing field in the league sponsored by Shakey’s.
Thipachot finished with 24 hits while Tabaquero and Maizo dished out a 17-point game each as the Rising Suns head to their duel with the Air Women oozing with confidence following a 12-game run.
In contrast, Army goes to its keenly awaited showdown with a souped-up Smart-Maynilad squad reeling from back-to-back setbacks.
Rachel Anne Daquis fired 20 hits while Jovelyn Gonzaga added 15 for the Army Women, who seized control after three sets but lost steam in the face of the Rising Suns’ mighty comeback.
Earlier, Air Force, behind Joy Cases and Judy Caballejo, subdued Phl National Police, 25-16, 26-22, 14-25, 25-17, to finish with a 7-5 card.
Cases unloaded 22 kills for a 24-point game while Caballejo added 17 hits as the Air Women recovered from a third set defeat to finish off the Patrolers with a strong fourth-set performance.
Maika Ortiz tossed in eight markers while skipper Liza de Ramos and Wendy Semana added seven points apiece for Air Force, which will face powerhouse Cagayan Province in tomorrow’s Final Four.
Thai Sangmuang Patcharee came through with 17 hits while Frances Molina and Janine Marciano combined for 29 points for PNP which closed out their stint in the season-ending conference of the league backed by Mikasa and Accel with a 2-10 mark.(pr)
Cagayan Province’s attacking game will be put to a tough test against Phl Army’s superb blocking as they clash today (Sunday) in a showdown of unbeaten teams in the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan City.
Drawing strength from their unrelenting net attack, the Rising Suns swept their first five matches and rolled into the quarters, including the last four which they fashioned out via sweep, capped by a 25-16, 25-17, 25-22 win over the Far Eastern U Lady Tams last Friday.
But they’ll be facing an Army crew boasting of an equally strong roster and which anchored its own sweep of its first three games on their net defense.
That guarantees a slambang, no-holds-barred duel at 4 p.m. in perhaps the most anticipated matchup thus far in the season-ending conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s.
“Our strength is creating attacking opportunities,” said Cagayan coach Nes Pamilar, whose wards are tops in spiking with 40.20 percent success.
But the league’s top defensive squad, with 2.44 blocks per set norm, is ready to stop the Rising Suns.
“We have prepared hard against them and we hope our defense will hold,” said Army mentor Rico de Guzman, whose charges primed up for the big match with a 25-14, 25-15, 25-15 demolition of the Phl National Police last Tuesday
Phl Navy and FEU, meanwhile, collide at 2 p.m. in a duel of winless teams in the league organized by Sports Vision and backed by Mikasa and Accel.
Expect the power-spiking Thai import Kannika Thipachot, Angeli Tabaquero and Aiza Maizo to carry the scoring cudgels for Cagayan with the troika running first, third and sixth in scoring with 79, 73 and 58, and fifth, third and sixth in spiking successes, respectively.
Army, for its part, will lean again on Jovelyn Gonzaga, who leads the team not only in defense but also in offense.
“She’s the anchor of this team,” said de Guzman referring to his prized ward, who is at No. 8 in scoring with 47 points in three games and second to Meralco’s Chinese import Coco Wang (50.82 percent) in spiking with 50 percent success.
De Guzman also hopes to draw big games from his star-studded crew that includes former MVPs MJ Balse, Nene Bautista and Michelle Carolino with support from Joanne Bunag, Dahlia Cruz, Cristina Salak and Genie Sabas.(pr)
Cagayan made short work of a listless Phl Navy side, 25-12, 25-12, 25-16, to wrest the solo lead even as Air Force bounced back with a similar straight-set win over Far Eastern U in the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan yesterday.
Aiza Maizo and Angeli Tabaquero took turns in attack and combined for 25 hits, including 22 on kills while Wenneth Eulalio and Thai reinforcement Kannika Tipachot scattered 14 points apiece to power the Rising Suns to their third straight victory.
The Rising Suns had a virtual workout against the debuting Lady Sailors, pumping in 47 kills from 39 excellent sets spearheaded by Relea Saet. Navy only produced a measly 18-attack effort and drew just 18 excellent sets
Earlier, Air Force leaned on its superb reception and its power game to down FEU, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19, and snap a two-game skid in the season-ending conference sponsored by Shakey’s.
Judy Ann Caballejo, a UST standout, banged away 12 hits she laced with three service aces and two blocks, carrying the Air Women past the Lady Tams in a duel of winless teams.
“She showed in the game that she’s a force to reckon with,” said Air Force coach Clarence Esteban in Filipino of Caballejo.
Maika Ortiz blocked Marie Toni Basas’ attack to wrap up the 78-minute encounter with the former finishing nine points, one behind the crisp-hitting Joy Cases, who unloaded all her points on kills.
Esteban liked how they received the ball.
“We received well, that started it all for us,” he said.
FEU, mentored by Shaq delos Santos, threatened last at 15-17 after stringing four straight points on Air Force’s miscues but Cases took over by scoring four of her team’s last eight points.
The Air Women also drew strength from Wendy Semana’s superb set plays to overpower the Lady Tams, 42-30, with Cases and Ortiz combining for 18 kills. Semana, who produced 22 excellent sets, also finished with eight points.
The victory was Air Force’s first after dropping its first two games to Cagayan Province and Army last week, putting it back in the hunt for one of the six quarterfinal berths in the tournament backed by Mikasa and Accel.
Meanwhile, the Air Force-FEU match will be shown on GMA News TV Channel 11 at 1 p.m. today while the Navy-Cagayan duel, being played at presstime, will be telecast on Monday, according to the organizing Sports Vision.
Skipper Liza de Ramos added seven hits while Jennifer Manzano and Rhea Dimaculangan chipped in four and two, respectively, for the Air Women, who also toughened up on defense after a strong start in each of the three sets.
FEU, which dragged Meralco into a five-setter before losing steam in the decider, fell to 0-3, its bid to advance diminishing each game. The Lady Tams will take a week-long break to further hone up but will face a fancied Cagayan Province side when they return to action next Friday.(pr)