CAGAYAN Valley coach Nes Pamilar did a `one-step backward, two-steps forward’ scheme that did wonders in the Lady Rising Suns’ thrilling, five-sets victory over Philippine Army in the nightcap of the Philippine Super Liga opener Sunday at the Philsports Arena.
The Lady Rising Suns pulled off a 25-23, 25-27, 26-24, 14-25, 15-12 win over the Lady Troopers in a game that saw Pamilar opting to rest his star players in the fourth set when Philippine Army appeared on its way to forging a fifth and decisive frame.
“Sabi ko sa kanila noong fourth set, labas na lang muna ang laki na ng lamang eh,” the Cagayan Valley coach thought the moment the Lady Troopers raced to a 19-11 lead behind the efforts of Jean Balse and Joanne Bunag on the way to extending the game to a winner-take-all set.
“Para pagdating ng fifth set, may energy pa.”
The ploy worked as Bhebs Pineda and Jen Manzano combined to score Cagayan’s final four points after Army closed in at 11-10 and finally at 14-12.
In all, the third and final game of a heavy triple header on opening day took two hours and seventeen minutes to complete.
“Na-pressure din sila sa fifth set kasi three days lang ang preparation namin, doon lang kami nabuo. Pero sabi ko na lang sa kanila (players) magtrabaho na lang tayo,” added Pamilar.
Manzano had an all-around game of 22 points, from 17 spikes, three blocks, and two service aces for the Lady Rising Suns.
With Cagayan up by a set, the former La Salle-Dasmarinas stalwart opened the second frame with seven straight points, capped by a service ace, to give the Lady Rising Suns an 8-6 lead.
But the Lady Troopers evened the game at a set each as Bunag, Nene Bautista, and Tina Salak took charge to give Army the second set.
Six errors by Army in the third set however, allowed Cagayan to capitalize and rally back from a 12-17 deficit to go up 24-21, and claim the third set.
Joy Cases and Sandra delos Santos contributed 16 and 15 markers, respectively for Cagayan Valley, which tied Cignal HD and PLDT MyDSL on top with a victory each.
Balse came up with 19 points for Philippine Army, while Bunag, Bautista, and Jacqueline Alarca chipped in 17, 13, and 11 points each.
The Lady Troopers fell to the cellar in the company of Petron and PCSO-Bingo Milyonaryo with identical 0-1 cards.