Lady Eagles sustain fightback, dim Suns

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Monday, August 11, 2014


ATENEO continued to buck the odds in its backdoor bid to gatecrash the Final Four of the Shakey’s V-League Season 11 Open Conference, overcoming an opening set setback to beat Cagayan Valley, 17-25, 25-23, 27-25, 25-19, to stay in the hunt at The Arena in San Juan City late Sunday.

Alyssa Valdez slowed down a bit with a 24-point performance after norming 26 hits the last three games, but the rest of the Lady Eagles backed the league’s scoring leader with superb reception and defense that stymied a number of Cagayan hitters to pound out the victory in 1:45.

It was Ateneo’s third straight win in the single round quarterfinal round where it hopes to sweep all its five matches and gain a crack at the last semifinal berth after a poor performance in the elims of the conference sponsored by Shakey’s and backed by Mikasa and Accel.

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Aiza Maizo came away with 20 hits but no other player scored in double figures for Cagayan with Pau Soriano held to seven points and Rose Vargas and Wenneth Eulalio limited to six markers apiece and Angeli Tabaquero clipped to five points.

Although they remain at fifth at 5-5, the reigning UAAP champions moved closer to their victim, who dropped to fourth at 6-3 and just two games behind second running PLDT Home Telpad (7-3) and No. 3 Air Force (7-4).

Army took the first semis berth with an 8-2 slate after completing a come-from-behind five-set win over National U last Sunday that also ousted the Lady Bulldogs from the semis race.

The Lady Eagles resume their drive today (Tuesday) as they face the Lady Troopers, champions here in Season 8, in the 4 p.m. main game where they hope to meet a soft Army side, which could opt to prepare for the tougher Final Four stage after clinching the first semis spot.

Or the Lady Troopers, led by the awesome fourseom of Rachel Ann Daquis, Jovelynn Gonzaga, Mary Jean Balse and Nerissa Bautista, could still choose to play their best game in an effort to sustain their form and boot out the Lady Eagles from the semis race.

But Valdez is also on the of her game while Amy Ahomiro, Miren Gequillana, Michelle Morente, Bea de Leon and Julia Morado and the rest have raised their respective games a notch higher, moving Ateneo two wins away from completing an amazing sweep of the tough quarters phase. They close out their campaign against the Lady Bulldogs (3-7) Thursday.

Cagayan, meanwhile, tries to recover lost grounds as it takes on NU in the 2 p.m. opener where the Rising Suns seek their seventh win against three losses in a bid to firm up their hold of the No. 4 spot.

Games can be viewed live via streaming on www.v-league.ph with the games to be shown on GMA News TV Channel on a delayed basis, according to the organizing Sports Vision. PR

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 12, 2014.

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