Lady Stags, Troopers go at it again

Posted at 09/02/2012 9:09 AM | Updated as of 09/02/2012 9:09 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Sandugo-San Sebastian squares off with Philippine Army again today with the former seeking a repeat and the latter raring to even things up in what could to be another dogfight for the lead in the Shakey’s V-League Open at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

The Lady Stags stake their unbeaten slate against the defending champions, whom they nipped in a thrilling five-setter in their first faceoff last Aug. 26. Jeng Bualee and Utaiwan Kaensing combined for 40 hits in that match with the Thai duo expected to lead the fancied team again in their 6 p.m. duel.

But the Lady Troopers are out for revenge with coach Rico de Guzman hoping to draw the best from Rachel Ann Daquis, sisters Michelle and Marietta Carolino, skipper Cristina Salak, Iari Yongco and block artists Joanne Bunag and Jacqueline Alarca.

Premium will be on reception and net defense although the Troopers are tipped to load up their arsenal upfront after getting outhit by the Lady Stags, 61-46, the first time out.

Army geared up for the big match with a sweep of Navy last Friday to raise its card to 5-1 while Sandugo needed to buck a first-set loss to frustrate a skidding Ateneo side in four and stretch its win run to six in the mid-season conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s Pizza.

Cagayan Valley, meanwhile, tries to keep going as it goes for its fourth straight win and fifth over in seven games against a struggling Navy side at 2 p.m. while Ateneo hopes to check its three-game slide with a win against winless Far Eastern U in the 4 p.m. contest.

Games can be viewed live on streaming on www.v-league.ph, according to the organizing Sports Visions.

With the top three semis berths a cinch for Sandugo-SSC, Army and Cagayan, the fight for the last Final Four seat remains wide open between Ateneo (2-4) and Navy (1-5) with FEU (0-6) hoping for a sweep of its last four games for a playoff.

The Lady Eagles, with Dzi Gervacio and Fille Cainglet back in the roster, looked headed for a big reversal last Friday after taking the opening set but the first conference champions struggled in the next two in the face of the Lady Stags big comeback then lost steam in a tight fourth-set duel.

They are, however, expected to get past the Lady Tams and build enough cushion against the Sailors in their battle for the last semis spot in the league backed by Mikasa and Accel.