PLDT upends defending champion Army to wrest V-League crown
It’s finally over.
After five grueling sets, PLDT Home Ultera usurped defending champions Philippine Army, 25-22, 18-25, 24-26, 28-26, 15-13, for the Shakey’s V-League crown Sunday at San Juan Arena.
PLDT’s final play came down to the powerhouse sisters, who are on the opposite sides of the court this series, when Jaja Santiago’s tap bounced off Dindin Santiago-Manabat and gave the Ultra Fast Hitters their first title in the league.
From a 10-10 stalemate in the fifth set, momentum took a slight swing towards PLDT as Alyssa Valdez pounded hard on the Lady Troopers with a powerful crosscourt kill for a 13-11 lead.
PLDT head coach Roger Gorayeb said it was in the attitude of the players that carried them to the win.
“It’s the passion of the players, they were the ones that did this,” Gorayeb said.
A sorry miss from Valdez gave the Lady Troopers a glimmer of hope when her error tied the set at 13-13 before the Ultra Fast Hitters wrapped it up.
Valdez paved the way for PLDT win as she finished with 29 points while Santiago and Gretchel Soltones added 17 apiece.
But it was Santiago who was named the finals most valuable player for her consistent showing throughout the finals.
Jovelyn Gonzaga led the Philippine Army with 19 points while Santiago-Manabat added 17.
Army held a 19-4 advantage on blocks but PLDT bombarded them throughout the match with a 63-49 lead in spikes. CC
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