ANALYN Joy Benito hammered two big spikes in a row to give Cagayan Valley its second straight five-set victory, this time at the expense of PCSO Bingo Milyonaryo, 16-25, 25-18, 20-25, 25-15, 15-13, last night to take the early lead in the Philippine Super Liga women’s volleyball tournament at Filoil Flying V Arena.
Benito slammed the game-winner from the left flank to finish with 18 points, including 15 kills.
“I got the strength from my team; this is not an individual sport,” said the 22-year-old Benito, an NCAA MVP for San Sebastián College, who was ably supported by Joy Cases.
Coach Nestor Pamilar said Cagayan, which debuted with another five-set win over TMS-Philippine Army last Sunday, was just starting to show solid team work although the Lady Rising Suns came into the tournament after recently winning an invitational event in Tuguegarao.
Benito scored 18 points, including 15 kills, to join Joy Cases as top scores for the Lady Rising Suns who recently won an invitational tourney in Tuguegarao.
Earlier, TMS-Philippine Army overcame a third-set meltdown to turn back Cignal, 25-22, 25-15, 25-27, 25-18.
Nerissa Bautista joined hands with Joanne Bunag and Michelle Carolino for the Lady Troopers, who regained control in the fourth set to tie the hard-fighting HD Spikers at 1-1.
Bautista unloaded 16 points while Bunag and Carolino chipped in 15 and 11, respectively for the Lady Troopers, who lost to Cagayan in a three-hour thriller, 25-23, 25-27, 26-24, 14-25, 15-12.
Venus Bernal tried to single-handedly carry the HD Spikers with 24 points, 21 on the attack, but failed to get enough support.
Honey Royse Tubino and Danika Gendrauli accounted for 11 and 9 points, respectively but they were mostly silent in crucial moments.
Army coach Rico de Guzman blamed lack of practice for his wards’ erratic game, although among six squads in the league the Lady Troopers were the only team that played with an intact lineup.