CAGAYAN Valley boosted its title-retention bid, forging a three-way tie atop the V-League Open Conference standings with a five-set win over Ateneo at the end of the eliminations on Thursday at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Rising Suns beat the Lady Eagles, 16-25, 25-16, 25-17, 25-27, 15-10, for their sixth win in seven outings, matching the records of PLDT and Philippine Army.
Aiza Maizo scored 17 points, Pau Soriano and Rosemarie Vargas had 12 each and Angeli Tabaquero had 11 markers for Cagayan Valley.
Air Force is running fourth with a 4-3 card, followed by National University at 3-4 and Ateneo with a 2-5 mark in the six-team quarterfinals.
The quarterfinal cast had been completed almost a week ago with UP and PNP bowing out of playoff contention early, but the remaining matches were still important as the elimination records will be carried over to the next phase, another single-round affair.
Cagayan coach Nes Pamilar was not surprised the match went the distance and took two hours and five minutes to finish as Ateneo gave his wards a tough challenge.
“Naglaro lang kami at ginawa namin ang best namin. Ang Ateneo naman lumaban sila naghanda rin naman sila against sa amin kaya umabot ng five sets,” said Pamilar.
“Carry over naman ’yang record eh pero dapat lahat pa rin magtiyaga at magpursige para umangat pa sa standing,” he added.
The Lady Rising Suns were already at match point in the fourth 24-23, but the Lady Eagles came up with three straight points from Alyssa Valdez, sophomore Kim Gequillana and an untimely error by Cagayan Valley that sent the match into a deciding set.
Four Lady Eagles scores in double figures but the team had a total of 44 errors and absorbed their third straight loss.
Fourth year Ateneo star Valdez came up with 30 points from 25 spikes, two blocks and three service aces, Amy Ahomiro added 18, Gequillana finished with 11 and Michelle Morente had 10.