GENERIKA-Army played steady throughout to pull off a 25-21, 27-29, 25-20, 25-21 win over RC Cola-Air Force on Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome for their third straight win in the Philippine Super Liga All Filipino Conference.
Nene Bautista led the way with 16 points, delivering crucial hits in the fourth set, while Jovelyn Gonzaga scored 14 as the Lady Troopers improved their win-loss record to 3-2.
The Raiders completed their elimination-round schedule with a 4-2 mark, staying in second place behind idle league leader Petron (3-0) but only slightly ahead of Generika-Army and AirAsia (3-2), both still with games on hand.
The 28-year old Bautista, who had worn the country’s tri-colors in international beach volleyball competitions years ago but has recently struggled with some weight issues, showed she still has what it takes to help lead the Lady Troopers.
"Pakiramdam ko hindi na ako ganoon kabigat," said Bautista, adding that she is still trying to get back to shape. "Nagtiwala lang ako sa sarili ko. Ginagawa ko lang ang lahat ng makakaya ko."
She came up with 13 spikes, including some crucial hits in the fourth, to the delight of coach Rico de Guzman. Bautista scored just five against Cignal and 10 against AirAsia.
“’Yun ang hinihintay ko talaga na mag-step up si Bautista,” said De Guzman. “Hindi lang sina Rachel, sina Jov, kilangan lahat.”
Rachel Daquis came up with 12 points and setter Tina Salak had 10 for Army.
With one set apiece, the Raiders took an early lead, 9-2, at the start of the third, but the Lady Troopers regained control, 18-17.
Army scored seven of the last 10 points as it capitalized on RC Cola's five miscues while Bautista came with an off the block hit and a service ace to take the third set.
Down, 15-20, in the fourth set, the Army rallied 10-1 run to seal the win and keep RC Cola from gaining an outright semifinal spot.
Joy Cases and Iari Yongco scored 16 each for RC Cola, while Judy Ann Caballejo added 12.