CAGAYAN Valley turned an expected thriller into a virtual training session for a major Asian tournament as it cruised to a 25-9, 25-16, 25-20 win over Philippine Army on Sunday at The Arena in San Juan to remain unbeaten in the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 Open Conference.
The Lady Rising Suns, with more than half of their roster are members of the national team preparing for the upcoming Asian Volleyball Championships, banked on a sizzling start that took the fight out of the Lady Troopers, who suffered their first loss in four games.
Cagayan coach Nes Pamilar didn’t expect the blowout victory - the sixth successive for the Lady Rising Suns - but expressed confidence in the capability of his team to pull off the feat against a fellow powerhouse squad.
“Hindi naman (in-expect), pero sinabi ko sa kanila na pag na-execute natin lahat ng inensayo natin - especially `yung service and blocking - mananalo tayo ng madali dyan.”
“Lamang nila `yung experience nila, pero mas tatagal kami kasi mas bata kami,” added Pamilar, the concurrent mentor of the national side bound for Nakhonratchasima, Thailand.
Thai import Kannika Thipachot spearheaded the Lady Rising Suns’ attack with 17 points, all but one on spikes, and drew solid support from the locals, led by Angge Tabaquero, Wenneth Eulalio, Aiza Maizo, and Pau Soriano.
Tabaquero and Eulalio churned in 12 markers apiece, while Maizo and Soriano shone offensively and defensively, respectively, to combine for 13 points.
Jovelyn Gonzaga led the Lady Troopers with 12 points, including three of four unanswered that kept them within 20-21 in the third set, before the Lady Rising Suns scored the final four points to seal the deal.