Power Spikers rip Lady Altas, near V-L semis
PLDT 7 0
Army 6 1
Cagayan Valley 5 2
Navy 3 4
Meralco 3 3
Perpetual 2 5
Baguio 1 6
Coast Guard 0 6
4 p.m. – Meralco vs Coast Guard
Meralco hurdled the first of two blocks leading to a dream semifinal stint as the Power Spikers smothered the Perpetual Help Lady Altas, 25-11, 25-12, 25-14, yesterday in the penultimate elims playdate of the Shakey’s V-League Season 12 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan City.
Leaving nothing to chance, the Power Spikers seized control early and sustained their charge through all three sets to complete a trouble-free 61-minute victory and remain on track of their semis drive.
Meralco remained at fifth with a 3-3 mark but hopes to get past the fourth-running Navy (3-4) with a victory over winless Coast Guard in the final elims match Tuesday.
Unbeaten PLDT, defending champion Army and Cagayan Valley took the first three semis berths in the season-opening conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s and presented by PLDT Home Ultera.
Maica Morada fired 17 hits as the Power Spikers produced 37 kills as against the paltry 18-attack output by the Lady Altas. Meralco also came through with nine blocks as against Perpetual’s two with the Power Spikers pouncing on their rivals’ poor reception to score eight aces.
Jamel Suyat shot 12 points but the next Perpetual scorers could only chip in two hits, leaving the ousted Lady Altas reeling to their fifth setback against two wins in the league backed by Mikasa and Accel.
Earlier, Army put its vaunted power game on display, sweeping rival Cagayan Valley with a 25-16, 25-21, 25-22 victory to finish behind PLDT (7-0) with a 6-1 card.
The Lady Troopers fought the Lady Rising Suns practically on even terms in the early going of each set but they re-asserted their might on the net midway of each frame to fashion out the one-hour, 13-minute victory.
Though both teams are already assured of spots in the Final Four, Army and Cagayan, which split the last two crowns in last year’s edition of the league organized by Sports Vision, still slugged it out from the opening serve to the delight of the crowd and those who watched the match live on GMA News TV Channel 11. But the Lady Troopers, behind former MVP Jovelyn Gonzaga, Rachel Ann Daquis and veteran Nerissa Bautista, proved tougher and stronger.
Gonzaga, who missed the team’s early games due to injury, rammed in 18 hits, including 13 on attacks, while Bautista recalled fierce form to deliver 10 kills for a 12-point output. Daquis added 11 markers while ace setter Tina Salak made eight points while accounting for all but one of the team’s 18 excellent sets.
“She’s a very important part of this team, we need her healthy for us to have a chance this conference,” said Army coach Rico de Guzman referring to the former conference and finals MVP from Iloilo.
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