CAGAYAN Valley moved a step closer to the championship after dominating Philippine Army, 25-23, 20-25, 25-21, 25-18, in Game One of the Shakey's V-League Season 11 Foreign Reinforced Conference Finals at The Arena in San Juan on Sunday.
Thai imports Hyapha Amporn and Pacharee Saengmuang led the way with 17 and 14 points, respectively, while conference MVP Aiza Maizo had 13 for the Lady Rising Suns, who lead the best-of-three title series, 1-0.
Cagayan will now go for the title on Sunday as it tries to avenge its loss to Army in the Finals of the Open Conference.
“Syempre very happy kasi nagbubunga 'yung nga pinaghirapan namin. Nakabawi kami sa Army and sa pinaka important na match pa,” said Cagayan Valley team captain Angge Tabaquero.
“Since nasa amin ang momentum ngayon kailangan 'yun ingatan and magtulung-tulong para sa susunod na laro,” she added.
Cagayan pulled away in the fourth set behind six straight points to turn around a tight 7-7 contest into a 13-7 lead.
Army coach Rico de Guzman commended the Lady Rising Suns' defense, which led to unstoppable running spikes by Amporn.
“Maganda ang depensa ng Cagayan kaya naka-running si Amporn,” he said.
Dindin Santiago provided 18 points for Army, while Ging Balse and Jovelyn Gonzaga added 12 and 10 apiece, respectively.