ANTIPOLO CITY — Jovelyn Gonzaga delivered the clutch hits and the game-winning ace as Pacifictown-Army completed a come-from-behind 18-25, 25-16, 20-25, 25-15, 15-13 over BanKo to claim the bronze medal of the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference on Sunday at the Ynares Sports Center.
The Lady Troopers fought their way back from a 1-2 match disadvantage and a 6-10 deficit in the fifth set.
Gonzaga rose to the occasion late in the fifth set trimming the deficit to just one, 10-11, and scored back-to-back kills to give Army a 13-12 lead.
BanKo team captain Nicole Tiamzon answered with her own kill to tie the set but Olena Lymareva-Flink nailed a strong cross court kill for the match point, 14-13, before Gonzaga delivered the match-winning ace.
“When it matters nandun siya. Buong puso yung nilaro niya,” said Pacifictown-Army head coach Kungfu Reyes on Gonzaga, who was emotional entering the press room.
“Yung bronze shines like a gold kasi disbanded kami for three years kasi wala kaming liga,” Reyes added.
The Lady Troopers completed a series comeback after winning Game Two in five sets less than 24 hours ago at the Arena in San Juan City. They squandered a two-set lead in Game One last Wednesday.
Lymareva-Flink unleashed 32 points for Army nailing 29 kills, two aces and a block on top of 12 excellent receptions. American import Jenelle Jordan finished with 19 points. Royse Tubino chipped in 12 points, while Gonzaga added nine markers laced with 20 digs.
Setter Alina Bicar was also instrumental with 34 excellent sets on top of four points as well as newly-crowned Best libero Angela Nunag, who had 19 digs and 17 excellent receptions.
BanKo failed to retain the third place, which was its last year’s finish both in Reinforced and Open Conference.
Tiamzon lifted BanKo with 22 points. Thai import Sutadta Chuewulim was everywhere scoring 16 points and defending the floor with 20 digs and eight excellent receptions, while Dzi Gervacio added 13.