Sandugo-SSC shoots for V-League Open crown tonightBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Coach Roger Gorayeb wants to see a more dominant Sandugo-San Sebastian squad when it shoots for the championship of the Shakey’s V-League Open tonight at Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
Dragged to a five-set thriller in the op-ener, the Lady Stags hope to put away the relentless Cagayan Valley side in Game 2 of the best-of-three series at 6 p.m.
But Gorayeb said the Lady Stags should be more focused to avoid a repeat of the grueling match where they had to recover from a set down twice.
“We lost our concentration in the first game,” said Gorayeb, who had to rely heavily on the power-hitting Thai duo of Jeng Bualee and Utaiwan Kaensing. “We need to focus. We shouldn’t be distracted and get too excited.”
Ateneo, meanwhile, guns for third place over Philippine Army in their own best-of-three battle at 4 p.m.
Bualee and Kaensing accounted for 40 of Sandugo’s 65 total kills in leading the Lady Stags to a tough triumph over the Rising Suns, 18-25, 29-27, 14-25, 25-13, 15-7, last Sunday.
Gorayeb said the Lady Stags should again focus on their defense and blocking after holding down Cagayan star Sandra delos Santos to 11 points, just moments after she bagged the Most Valuable Player award.
Coach Mike Rafael said his Rising Suns need to be more consistent, noting how their second-set loss, 27-29, in Game 1 proved pivotal.
“I believed the match was ours had we won the second set, but that’s it, we just have to get back at them in the second game,” said Rafael.
Former MVPs Suzanne Roces and Nene Bautista hope to provide again the firepower Sandugo needs against other Cagayan reliables led by Joy Cases, Honey Tubino, Kunbang Pornpimol and Sutadta Chuewulim.
“We should not think that just because we won against them before, we could beat them again,” said Gorayeb. “Cagayan made it to the finals because they are playing as a team. We need to play as a team to win.”