Air Force forges Shakey’s V-League playoff vs Ateneo
MANILA—Jennifer Manzano fired a career-best 32 points as Philippine Air Force repulsed Ateneo in four sets Tuesday and forced a playoff for the remaining semifinal berth in the Shakey’s V-League Season 8 Open Conference at the FilOil Flying V Arena.
Aiza Maizo also delivered 21 points in the Airwomen’s 25-20, 25-19, 20-25, 25-19 victory that forged a rematch between the two teams at 4 p.m. on Thursday.
With the victory, Navy, Air Force and Ateneo all wound up with 2-3 records but the Lady Sailors clinched the third seed because of the better quotient under FIVB rules.
San Sebastian earlier slammed the door shut on Maynilad’s semifinal hopes with a smashing 25-22, 25-23, 25-20 victory to finish the quarterfinals with a 4-1 record.
American import Lauren Ford fired 17 points and got plenty of help with Rubie de Leon, Analyn Benito and Jeng Bualee all putting up double-digit outputs as the Lady Stags fashioned out the win in an hour and 15 minutes.
Still, the straight-set win wasn’t enough for San Sebastian to clinch the No. 1 seed heading in the semifinals. That spot belonged to Army, which owned a better quotient compared to San Sebastian.
“The important thing is we are in the semifinals,” said San Sebastian coach Roger Gorayeb, whose team ended up ninth in the previous conference.
Maynilad had looked to forge a playoff for a final four spot after stunning Army last Sunday, but rammed into a San Sebastian squad that just had too much firepower.
“We couldn’t stop Ford,”” said Maynilad coach Joseph Santos of the 6-foot-2 American, who punched 16 attack hits on 27 attempts. “We had problems receiving the ball.”
Ford and Benito produced back-to-back hits to break a 23-all tie and put the Lady Stags 2-0 up.
Air Force bounced back after losing the third set, with Maizo and Manzano, who converted 30-of-63 attacks, leading the way.
The Lady Eagles’ attack was severely blunted in the fourth set after one of their leading scorers Alyssa Valdez sustained an ankle injury.
Valdez still finished with 17 points, matching the output of Fille Cainglet.
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