Perpetual rips St. La Salle, advances to Shakey’s V-League semisBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines — Perpetual Help came around in time to turn back University of St. La Salle, 26-24, 19-25, 24-26, 28-26, 15-12, and clinch a semifinals berth Sunday in the 9th Shakey’s V-League First Conference at the Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Altas stormed back in the game after trailing by a set and overhauled a four point deficit in the fifth set to a 15-12 win.
An ace from diminutive setter Shyrra Cabriana gave Perpetual Help the match point, before assisting Thai reinforcement Kunbang Pornpimol with a match-clinching power hit.
Pornpimol shone with a whopping 29 points, while Sandra Delos Santos and Norie Diaz, who both helped stir the Lady Altas back in the driver seat, added 33 points combined.
It was the first time the Lady Altas made it as far as the final four in the Shakey’s V-League, and head coach Mike Rafael welcomes it as big morale booster.
“We’re going to improve more this semis. We’re a bit tired and we still need to improve, but this is good for us especially for our morale,” Rafael told the press.
“Our biggest weakness is keeping our composure when it’s crucial, but we make up for the lack of height with good floor defense,” he added.
The Lady Stingers, concluding the quarterfinals with a 2-5 record, are holding on by thread in their bid to make to the next round.
St. La Salle’s fate depends on the winner of the San Sebastian-Far Easter University match, which is being played at press time.