Cagayan stuns Army, moves a game away from V-League finalsBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines – Cagayan-Perpetual Help proved its second round win over Philippine Army was no fluke as it stunned the defending champion anew, 25-20, 25-15, 25-20, Wednesday to take a 1-0 headstart in their best-of-three semifinals series of the Shakey’s V-League Season 9 Open Conference at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.
Thai import Kunbang Pornpimol was almost automatic as she easily scored a game-high 18 points, including seven in the second set that keyed in an 18-3 blast by the Rising Suns.
“I didn’t expect we would win in in three sets. Iba yan, champion yan e,” said Perpetual Help head coach Mike Rafael.
Cagayan trailed 7-12 before team skipper Joy Cases and Pornpimol teamed up to turn things around.
A Cases spike tied it at 13 before four straight points by Pornpimol off blocks and kills completely gave the momentum to Cagayan.
Army just couldn’t get through Cagayan’s wall.
Rachel Ann Daquis, Jacqueline Alarca and Joanne Bunag paced the Lady Troopers with eight points each.
“We improved our blocking. We’ve mastered blocking and zeroed in on their spiker,” commended Rafael.
Carolino sisters, Michelle and Mayette, struggled with just three apiece.
The Lady Troopers were in position to at least force a fourth set as they clawed back from a six-point deficit in the third set to only trail, 20-22.
But Sandra de los Santos came through with three straight points to put Cagayan to just a game away of a Finals berth.
The 20-year-old de los Santos added 12 points while Rose Tubino had 11 points.
The Rising Suns will shoot for a Finals slot on Friday.
“Hopefully our play won’t change in the next game,” Rafael said.