NENE Bautista showed the way as Philippine Army remained unbeaten in five matches, downing hapless Philippine National Police, 25-16, 25-22, 25-22, on Tuesday in the Shakey's V-League Season 11 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan.
The league leading Lady Troopers, who had earlier secured a berth in the six-team quarterfinals, got 16 points from Bautista, while Ginie Sabas scored 12 and Ging Balse contributed 10.
It was a quick workout that gave Army coach Rico de Guzman a chance to field his reserves, who failed to impress and even allowed PNP to take a 14-8 lead in the second set.
“Pinasok ko ’yung mga second stringers ko, sabi ko sa kanila ito na ang chance niyo, pero ’yung ginagawa namin sa pratice ’di nila na apply,” said de Guzman.
“Mababa ang laro sa opensa, ang depensa malambot kaya binalik ko ’yung mga starters ko,” he added.
Second stringers Joanne Bunag, Dahlia Cruz and Sarah Gonzales played in the second and third sets, combining for just nine points.
PNP was up, 20-15, before Army starters Tina Salak, Jovelyn Gonzaga and Balse were sent back in and regain control.
Already in the quarterfinals are Army, PLDT (5-1), Cagayan Valley (3-1) and Air Force (3-2), while two spots remain open.
Frances Molina finished with 17 points for PNP, which is winless in six matches.