Army beats Ateneo, ties with PLDT in Shakey’s V-League

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014


THE Army blew a two-set lead and bucked two match points in the decider to foil a stubborn Ateneo side, 25-22, 25-13, 28-30, 20-26, 16-14, and force a tie with PLDT Home Telpad on top in the Shakey’s V-League Season II Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan yesterday.

Stung by setbacks in the third and fourth sets and the Lady Eagles’ hot start in the fifth, the Lady Troopers fought back from 12-14 by taking the last four points to clinch the win that kept them in step with the idle Turbo Boosters at 6-1 at the close their elims assigment in the mid-season conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s.

A service miscue by Ateneo’s Julia Morado coupled by Army’s Rachel Daquis’ ace on the other end forced a 14-all count then Nene Bautista and Jovelyn Bautista came through with a kill apiece following the Lady Troopers’ successful digs to finish off the Lady Eagles.

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Ateneo slipped to 2-4, further diminishing its chances in the next round where all qualifiers will carry their respective elims records. The top four after another single round affair will advance to the semis of the conference backed by Mikasa and Accel.

In a stretch, however, the Lady Eagles appeared headed for a big reversal when they dragged the Lady Troopers to an extended, thrilling third set duel and won. They took the fourth to send the match into a fifth set where they seized control in the early going before the Lady Troopers put their act together to force a series of deadlocks, the last at 14.

“Our service reception just vanished after we took the first two sets. But good thing we were able to recover in the end,” said Army coach Rico de Guzman.

Daquis finished with 16 hits, Gonzaga and Mary Jane Balse fired 15 points apiece and Bautista punched in 11 markers for the Lady Troopers, who put to naught another splendid Alyssa Valdez performance.

The league’s leading scorer came away with 29 hits while Amy Ahomiro added 14 markers and Michelle Morente, Morado and Miren Gequillana each had seven points for the hard-luck Lady Eagles.

Earlier, Air Force primed up for the tough quarterfinal round grind with an equally tough 25-21, 25-21, 25-22 victory over National U, finishing the elims at fourth with a 4-3 card.

The Lady Bulldogs would up with a 3-4 card.

Meanwhile, the PLDT Home Telpad-Air Force match last Thursday will be shown on GMA News TV Channel starting at 1 p.m. today along with the Cagayan-UP faceoff last Sunday while Air Force-NU and Army-Ateneo duels yesterday will be aired tomorrow, according to the organizing Sports Vision.

Joy Cases, relegated to the background majority of the elims, took the spotlight this time, firing away 10 kills and adding one block while top hitters Maika Ortiz and May Ann Pantino each had nine markers for the Raiders, who also drew a combined 15-hit output from Iari Yongco and Jocie Tapic. (PR)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 30, 2014.

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