FOR the second straight game, Cagayan Valley was stretched to a five-setter in the Philippine Super Liga.
And for the second straight time, the Lady Rising Suns again emerged victorious.
Banking on the heroics of Joy Benito, Cagayan survived a fighting PCSO-Bingo Milyonaryo side, 16-25, 25-18, 20-25, 25-15, 15-13, on Wednesday night at The Arena in San Juan.
Back-to-back power spikes by the former San Sebastian standout shattered a tight 13-all game in the deciding set that gave the Lady Rising Suns their second straight win.
Cagayan Valley also needed five sets to beat Philippine Army during the opener, 25-23, 25-27, 26-24, 14-25, 15-12.
Benito, a part of San Sebastian’s five straight NCAA championships from 2007-2011, finished with 18 points, 16 from spikes, one block, and one service ace, while Joy Cases and Sandra Delos Santos chipped in 18 and 12, respectively for the Lady Rising Suns.
For a moment, Benito almost ended up as the goat after she committed an unforced error that allowed PCSO to tie the game at 13-all.
But then, she quickly redeemed herself by scoring Cagayan Valley’s game-winning hits.
“Noong nag-error ako, sabi ko lang sa sarili ko kailangan kong bumawi,” she recalled. “Hindi naman ako kinabahan doon sa error ko. Kumpiyansa naman ako at saka kumukuha ako ng lakas sa mga teammates at coaches ko.”
Despite having less blocks (3-11), the Lady Rising Suns scored more on services (11-6).
Former La Salle star Michelle Gumabao led PSCO with 19 points, Stephanie Mercado and Ivy Remulla added 11 each, and Michelle Laborte with 10.
The Puffins lost for the second straight game and are now at the bottom of the standings.