PHILIPPINE Army stunned PLDT Home Ultera, 13-25, 27-25, 27-25, 25-23, in the opener of the Shakey’s V-League Season 12 Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Troopers bucked a slow start and completely swung the momentum in their favor with a thrilling third-set victory to deal the heavily favored Ultra Fast Hitters their first loss in the tournament.
By ending PLDT's run of 10 victories in the eliminations and semifinals, Army moved into position to pull off a double in this tournament in Game Two of the best-of-three series on Sunday.
Jovelyn Gonzaga had 16 points including the match-winning point in the fourth set. Dindin Santiago-Manabat also scored 16 in winning her personal duel against younger sister Jaja Santiago.
“’Yung experience namin, ‘yun ang nagdala sa amin. Napakahirap kalaban ‘yung PLDT lalo na ‘yung opensa nila kung hindi mo pag-iisipan mabuti,” said Army coach Rico De Guzman.
PLDT was the verge of winning the third set, 24-22, but Army saved two set points. The Lady Troopers also bounced back from a 24-25 deficit by taking the final three points including a kill by Dindin over Jaja.
Philippine Army’s momentum carried over into the fourth set where the Lady Troopers turned back one PLDT comeback after another.
Alyssa Valdez had a game-high 25 points while Santiago had 11 for the Ultra Fast Hitters, who committed less errors, 35-27, but couldn't take advantage of key attacks during crucial stretches.