Army nails Super Liga outright semis slot

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TMS-PHILIPPINE Army unleashed the full force of its crack roster to destroy PCSO Bingo Milyonaryo, 25-19, 25-15, 25-11, last night and claim one of two outright semifinal berths in the Philippine Super Liga women’s volleyball tournament at Philsports Arena.

Jacqueline Alarca topscored with 11 points, three of them through blocks, as the Lady Troopers strung up their fourth victory for a 4-1 record.

“We prepared very hard for this tournament, and it helped that we didn’t have to spend much time to adjust playing with each other,” said TMS-Philippine Army coach Ronald Dulay.

Cagayan Valley was gunning for the other outright semifinal slot against Petron Blaze at presstime.

Cignal earlier took advantage of PLDT MyDSL’s smaller frontline to score a 21-25, 25-21, 26-24, 25-22 victory for its second straight win.

The HD Spikers, drawing strength from Honey Royse Tubino and Venus Bernal, improved their record to 3-2, while handing the Speed Boosters their fourth straight defeat for 1-4.

PCSO, which also fell to 1-4, didn’t have anybody scoring in double digits with Michelle Laborte leading the way with six points. Maureen Penetrante and Ivy Remulla added five points each for the losing cause.

The Lady Troopers, who earned the luxury of a three-day rest before Sunday’s semifinals,  also drew superb plays from libero Angela Nunag and Michelle  Carolino.  Nunag had 10 excellent digs while Carolino also had four digs aside from five points.

Lanky Cristina Salak chipped in four points, but it was her superb setting  which opened up a lot of scoring opportunities for Army.

Jocelyn Gonzaga accounted for seven points, all of them on the attack as the Lady Troopers employed a balanced offensive which made things miserable for the Puffins.

Twenty-year-old Tubino, playing out of Perpetual, knocked in 23 points including 21 spikes, as Cignal mounted a big rally after losing the first set.

“I don’t control the players’ winning drive but I’m glad we woke up in the second set and played our game,” said Cignal coach Sinfronio Acaylar.

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