MAIKA Ortiz came up with the big hits in the final set to help Philippine Air Force overcome the Ateneo Lady Eagles, 22-25, 25-13, 25-13, 23-25, 17-15, on Thursday in the Shakey's V-League Season 11 Open
Conference at The Arena in San Juan.
Ateneo had a 13-11 lead in the fifth set before Ortiz led a 6-2 run that boosted the Air Force to its third win in four games.
Ortiz finished with 17 points, Judy Ann Caballejo had 15 and Joy Cases scored 12 for the Air Women, who are in third spot behind co-leaders PLDT and Army (3-0).
Air Force coach Clarence Esteban was clearly disappointed, saying the Air Women took the Lady Eagles lightly.
Only three Ateneo players — Karen Derder, Madeleine Madayag and Kim Gequillana — were in uniform at the start of the warmups. Nine other Lady Eagles including skipper Alyssa Valdez had classes and went straight from Ateneo to the playing venue, arriving just 15 minutes before the match.
Still, the Lady Eagles played fine and even took the first set.
“Nag easy easy na naman sila, ang gaan ng galaw palibhasa alam na late ’yung mga kalaban, wala 'yung eagerness na manalo, wala ’yung killer instinct,” said Esteban.
Air Force led by as many as 15 points in the third, 22-7, and went on to take a two-set lead. But the Air Women relaxed and the Lady Eagles took advantage, with Valdez scoring on back-to-back power hits to extend the match.
“Minotivate ko lang sila, binalik ko ’yung killer instinct. Lahat naman na kasi ng instructions binigay ko
na, ’di lang nae-execute."
Valdez came up with 32 points, while Michelle Morente added 14 for the Lady Eagles, who absorbed their second consecutive loss after winning their opening match.