Cagayan regroups to overcome PNP in V-League
MANILA, Philippines - Cagayan Province nearly got the short end of its player-experiment, recalling its stars in time to repulse a feisty Phl National Police side, 22-25, 29-27, 25-13, 20-25, 15-9, and sweep the elimination round of the Shakey’s V-League 10 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan City yesterday.
Aiza Maizo, Angeli Tabaquero and Wenneth Eulalio uncorked 19, 16 and 16 hits, respectively, to lead the Rising Suns to their seventh straight victory for the big edge not only in the carryover quarterfinals but also the Final Four of the season-ending conference sponsored by Shakey’s.
Thai imports Kannika Thipachot and Phomia Soraya watched from the sidelines in the early going as coach Nestor Pamilar gave the other local players a chance to play. But the ploy backfired as the Lady Patrollers stole the first set and nearly snatched the second in their absence.
Thipachot also sat out the fourth set but came back strong in the decider to deliver the hits that mattered most, including a mighty spike that PNP Thai reinforcement Sangmuang Patcharee had failed to stop, wrapping up the one-hour, 47-minute encounter for the unbeaten squad.
“I just want to see how the team would perform without our Thai players. I also want to give my other players the chance to play and perhaps gain some confidence,” said Pamilar in keeping his stars in the early going.
In the other game, Thai Lithawat Kesinee debuted with a bang, firing 20 hits as she led Smart-Maynilad to a lopsided 25-18, 25-14, 25-11 victory over Navy for a spot in the quarters with a 4-2 mark.
Maru Banaticla, back in the fold after a beach volley stint, scored 12 points while Sue Roces and Gretchel Soltones tossed in 11 markers each for the Net Spikers, who snapped a two-game skid.
The Lady Sailors, led by Cecille Cruzada’s eight hits, fell to 1-4 but remained at No. 6.
Thipachot ended up with 12 hits in just a little over two sets of action while Soraya did what she does best, producing 30 excellent sets out of 75 attempts in a three-set stint.
The Rising Suns will take a week-long break from the event backed by Mikasa and Accel to compete in the 17th Asian Seniors Women’s Championship slated Sept. 13-17.
“I don’t want to call it a vacation because we’re going to war out there against an elite field,” said Pamilar.
Analyn Joy Benito, a San Sebastian standout, led Cagayan’s reserves with 12 hits.
Maizo topscored for Cagayan with 19 hits, Tabaquero and Eulalio each had 16 markers and Thipachot managed to put in 12 points despite limited stint, the same output put in by Joy Benito.
Marciano came away with 24 hits while Patcharee ended up with 21 and Frances Molina added 16 markers for PNP, which dropped to 0-4.