EXPECT an all out war when defending champion Philippine Army and PLDT Home Ultera clash for one last time for the championship of the Shakey’s V-League Season 12 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan on Sunday.
The winner-take-all match is set at 12:45 p.m. with coaches of both teams stressing Game Three is no longer about the X’s and O’s, but more on the character and determination to win.
“Buhusan na ng laro ‘yun. Game Three na ito, huli na ito wala nang Game Four o Game Five,” said PLDT mentor Roger Gorayeb.
“Sa Game Three nandoon na lahat, wala na dapat errors, ilalabas na namin ang lahat,” Army coach Rico de Guzman said for his part.
Both the Lady Troopers and Ultra Fast Hitters are coming off a one-week long break after PLDT forged the sudden-death showdown with a 25-16, 25-22, 19-25, 25-16 win over the reigning champions in Game Two last Sunday.
League MVP Alyssa Valdez and Jaja Santiago did most of the damage for PLDT. Valdez fired from all angles and finished with 26 points, scattered from 20 spikes, two blocks, and four service aces, while Santiago had 13 hits, five blocks, and two service aces.
The Lady Troopers drew first blood in the short best-of-three series by coming back from a set down to win Game One, 13-25, 25-23, 27-25, 25-22, that broke the unbeaten 10-0 record of the Ultra Fast Hitters.
Best opposite spiker Jovelyn Gonzaga, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, and Tina Salak starred for the Lady Troopers in the Game One encounter.
Incidentally, the rubber match also serves as the final tune-up for members of the women’s national team before they embark for the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.
National players included in PLDT’s roster include Valdez, Santiago, Gretchel Soltones, and Denden Lazaro, while Army has Santiago-Manabat, Rachel Ann Daquis, and PH team skipper Jovelyn Gonzaga.