CAGAYAN Valley stayed on track for back-to-back titles as it advanced to the V-League Open finals with a 25-20, 12-25, 25-19, 26-24 win over PLDT on Sunday at The Arena in San Juan.
Former University of Santo Tomas star Aiza Maizo scored 22 points as the Lady Rising Suns shrugged off the arrival of PLDT’s new recruits Dindin Santiago and Mina Aganon, completing a semifinals sweep after a similar four-set win in the opener of the best-of-three series on Thursday.
Pau Soriano of Adamson added 11 and former San Beda player Janine Marciano chipped in with 10 as Cagayan Valley continued its late surge. The Rising Suns lost four straight matches in the six-team quarterfinal round but now enter the title series on a three-match win streak.
“Noong nagtatalo kami sa quarterfinals mas tumaas pa ang kumpyansa namin,” said Lady Troopers coach Nes Pamilar.
“Sana magtuluy-tuloy na, noong nabigyan kami ng chance na makapasok ng semis ’di na namin pinakawalan ang pagkakataon,” added Pamilar, whose team won last year’s title with a 16-match sweep.
Leading by seven in the fourth, Cagayan Valley committed a consecutive errors that allowed PLDT to tie it at 23.
Lou Ann Latigay and Maizo traded outside spikes, 24-24, but Wenneth Eulalio scored on a quick attack at the middle and Santiago was called for a net violation to hand the Lady Rising Suns the ticket back to the finals.
Santiago and Aganon, who played for the first time for the Power Attackers, scored 15 and 13 points, respectively.
The two had been lined up with PLDT since the start of the Open Conference, even though they were still seeing action with Petron in the Super Liga. Their PSL stint ended last month, but they were able to suit up for PLDT only on Sunday.
Latigay and Sue Roces had 11 markers apiece for PLDT.