RC Cola-Army rules Superliga Invt’l Cup
WORLD-CLASS skills and youth proved no match against plain old grit and experience.
Battle-scarred RC Cola-Army lived up to this hype last night after pulling off a stunning 25-23, 25-23, 14-25, 25-23 upset victory over highly rated EST Cola of Thailand to capture the Philippine Superliga Invitational Cup at Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan City.
Grinding for points through blocks and tip-ins, the Lady Troopers more than held their own against the quicker and talented Thais to rule the short tournament and herald their PSL comeback after a two-years absence.
Jovelyn Gonzaga scored four of the last five points to finish with 19 points for the Lady Troopers, who won their fourth title in the PSL after ruling the first three conferences.
“I told them that they are young and fast, but their youth can be their disadvantage because we used our experience against them,” said RC Cola-Army coach Kungfu Reyes.
Reyes also got a very effective decoy attacker in Honey Royse Tubino who squeezed in 17 points, hitting open spots in the court as the Thais trained their guns on popular hitter Rachel Anne Daquis.
The pretty Daquis, popular among volleyball fans in Southeast Asian nations like Thailand and Singapore, bucked a hurting right shoulder to account for 10 points.
EST Cola was still declared “co-champion” as the guest club after winning two of its three games. Some of the Thais are members of their Under-23 and Under-17 national teams
Earlier, Petron survived a belated comeback by F2 Logistics to win, 25-22, 26-24, 16-25, 26-24, and claim second place.
Maica Morada led the Tri Activ Spikers with 17 points as Petron posted its only win in the final round. The Cargo Movers finished with a 0-3 record but still bagged third place.
Gonzaga later captured the Most Valuable Player award, her second in the league.
Aiza Maizo-Pontillas of Petron won the Best Opposite Spiker award, Tichaya Boonlert was Best Setter and Anisa Yotpinit was Best Libero.