Army regains V-League lead; Maynilad wins
MANILA—Army made quick work of Navy, 25-20, 25-20, 26-24, Sunday to regain top spot at the start of the quarterfinals of the Shakey’s V-League Season 8 Open Conference at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Mixing their power game with a resolute floor defense, the Army volleybelles took care of business in a little over an hour and moved in front with their sixth win in seven starts.
Benefiting from the brilliance of setter Tina Salak, Michelle Carolino and Rachelle Ann Daquis combined for 30 points to lead Army, which brandished its attacking depth with at least eight hits from three other players.
Earlier, newcomer Maynilad turned an expected tight duel into a rout, rolling past a listless Perpetual Help, 25-16, 25-22, 25-17, to capture the last quarterfinal berth.
Forced into a knockout match after losing to Air Force in their final match of the elimination round, the Water Dragons rose to the challenge and neutralized the Lady Altas’ power game.
Maynilad, which needed 30 points to win the deciding fifth set in its marathon first-round duel with Perpetual, got an unexpected lift this time from the Lady Altas, who yielded an alarming 27 points on errors, 17 more than their opponents’ tally.
“Everything just clicked for us today,” said new Maynilad coach Joseph Santos, who replaced BJ Sacramento only last Friday.
“The things we worked on in practice yesterday we were able to apply in the game. We were able to limit their Thai imports.”
Although Piyatida Lasungnern finished with 16 points, Perpetual Help’s other import, Wirawan Sattayanuchit, was held to just five by Maynilad’s solid blocking and floor defense.
After dropping the first two sets, Navy threatened to stretch the match into a fourth frame by taking a 22-21 lead on Nerissa Bautista’s smash down the center.
But Carolino fired back with two consecutive hits, before Mary Jean Balse’s kill put Army at match point which Daquis scored by blocking Bautista’s attempt at the net.
Balse and Joanne Bunag wound up with nine points each, while Marietta Carolino finished with eight for Army, which bounced back from a three-set loss to San Sebastian last Thursday.
Bautista was held to just 12 points, five points below her average, even as Suzanne Roces paced Navy’s losing effort with 14 hits.
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