Cagayan overwhelms Meralco; Army sinks Navy
MANILA, Philippines - Cagayan Province bucked Meralco’s fierce challenge in the first two sets before dominating the third to complete a 26-24, 25-22, 25-14 victory and clinch at least a playoff for a quarterfinal berth in the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan yesterday.
Thai Kannika Thipachot outhit Chinese Coco Wang in a duel of power-hitting imports, blasting 18 kills and finishing with 24 hits while Angeli Tabaquero dished out another sterling game of 14 points as they powered Cagayan past Meralco for its fourth straight win.
Thipachot, with fellow Thai Phomia Soraya setting her up and the Rising Suns for the attack, blasted 18 kills and finished with 24 hits while Tabaquero dished out another sterling game of 14 points as they powered Cagayan past Meralco for its fourth straight win in the season-ending conference sponsored by Shakey’s.
Wang ended up with 18 hits, including 13 attacks, but couldn’t match Thipachot’s firepower and even off the block, 3-4. Both players wound up with two service aces each.
But the Rising Suns had to gut it out in the first two frames, escaping with a two-point win in an extended opening set and holding off the Power Spikers in the second before sustaining their momentum and stamping their class in the third.
“The key was keeping our cool in the first two sets,” said Cagayan Province coach Nes Pamilar, whose chargers moved two games ahead of Army.
The Army Women earlier dealt their Navy counterparts another severe beating, posting an easy 25-14, 25-12, 25-13 win, its second straight win in the tournament backed by Mikasa and Accel.
Aiza Maizo backed Thipachot and Tabaquero with nine points while new recruit Pau Soriano, still trying to feel her way around in two starts, chipped in four and Soraya, the other Thai guest player, set up the Rising Suns’ attackers, finishing with 36 excellent sets while tossing in two points.
Maureen Ouano scored eight hits, Stephanie Mercado had five and Fille Cainglet finished with four as the troika struggled after churning out double-digit outputs against Far Eastern U last week.
The Army Women drew another stellar game from Lovelynn Gonzaga, who fired 11 hits after a 16-point performance against Air Force last week, while former league MVP Nene Bautista also scored 11 hits – all on attacks – to put out Navy’s token challenge in 69 minutes.
Aside from unloading eight kills, the comely Gonzaga also uncorked a pair of service winners and seven non-scoring but excellent digs while providing backup on their net defense composed of Bautista and skipper Joanne Bunag.