The Cagayan Valley Lady Rising Suns beat the Philippine Army in a five-set masterpiece, 25-23, 25-27, 26-24, 14-25, 15-12, to improve to 1-0 in the Philippine Super Liga at the PhilSports Arena on Sunday Afternoon.
Leading Cagayan were Jennifer Manzano and Joy Cases who had 22 and 16 points, respectively. Shiela Pineda, meanwhile, had eight for the Lady Rising Suns.
After the game, Pineda talked about how taxing it was to take on a team as big as Army.
“In tact talaga yung Army, ang lalaki nila kaya tinaga namin sa defense,” she said. Cagayan will face Bingo Milyonaryo – who earlier lost to PLDT – on Wednesday at the San Juan Arena.
Despite only having three days to practice with his team, Cagayan Valley head coach Nestor Pamilar did a great job preparing his girls for the matchup against an Army team who many consider as the favorite to win the championship.
Both squads played each other even throughout the entire affair. The first two sets of the matchup included numerous highlights, incredible plays, and unbelievable moments that made the game an instant classic.
After splitting the first four sets, both teams, despite being tired and exhausted, played each other to the limit in the final and deciding round. The score was tied at 9-9 before Cagayan – led by Pineda and Cases – went on a 4-1 run, which turned out to be the deciding factor of the game.
After their victory, Pamilar talked about how the fourth set prepared his team for the final moments of the last set.
“Nung fourth set medyo malayo na, kaya sabi ko pahinga muna tayo para sa pagdating nang fifth set, meron pa tayo extra energy,” he said.
Mary Jean Balse – who a few days ago declared Army as the team to beat in Super Liga – scored 19 points while Joanne Bunag pitched in 17 markers for the losing team. Former UAAP MVP Jacqueline Alarca also helped with her 11 made attempts.
The Philippine army will get a chance to bounce back and improve their record to 1-1 when they take on the unbeaten Cignal HD Spikers on Wednesday at 2:00PM.