IRIGA-NAVY straightened up its act in the deciding set to escape with a 25-9, 21-25, 26-28, 25-21, 15-13 victory over Tacloban for its first win in the second phase of the 2018 Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference on Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Lauren Whyte came up big for the Lady Oragons, unleashing 25 points from 23 spikes as she took over in the fifth set to help her side recover from a 12-9 deficit.
Her spiking prowess enabled Iriga-Navy to close out the deciding set on a 6-1 run to finally pull through after falling in its first two assignments.
“Sinabi ko sa kanila, ang ganda ng panalo namin sa first set, pero yung first set na yun parang balewala,” rued coach Egay Rusit as the Lady Oragons failed to sustain the energy after taking a dominant 25-9 first set.
“Problema natin parang nasanay sila na sa bandang huli, parang hindi namin kayang tapusin. Ganun lagi ang storya namin. Kaya sabi ko, yung ginawa namin sa first set, bakit di natin gawin sa last set?”
Macy Ubben provided support for Iriga-Navy with her 25 points, 24 off kills, while Grazielle Bombita had eight.
Janet Serafica also had 18 excellent sets from the Lady Oragons’ 34, as they rose to a 1-2 card.
Rusit acknowledges the reality of his team’s situation, knowing that it would take a miracle for Iriga-Navy to still catch the last bus to the Final Four.
That’s why for him, the remaining games against BanKo-Perlas and Petrogazz is more about the Lady Oragons showing some sense of pride.
“Medyo uhaw yung team na manalo. Kaya nga kung ito na ang last two games namin, sinabi ko kailangang makuha namin hanggang sa huli para mabawi namin yung mga laro na hindi namin naipanalo,” he said.
Hyapha Amporn led the Fighting Warays (0-3) with 20 points, while Jovie Prado got 15 in the loss.