AIZA Maizo's back-to back blocks sealed the win for Cagayan Valley as it escaped with a 26-24, 25-11, 23-25, 11-25, 15-12 win over Smart on Tuesday in the opener of the best-of-three title series in the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Rising Suns remained unbeaten in 15 matches in the tournament.
Up by one in the decing set, 13-12, Maizo preserved the win for the Lady Rising Suns by denying Alyssa Valdez on two consecutive attacks.
The former University of Santo Tomas star came up with 10 points on six spikes and four blocks to help the Lady Rising Suns move a step closer to the crown.
Kannika Thipachot, this conference's Best Scorer, had a game-high 25 points and team captain Angge Tabaquero chipped in with 16 for Cagayan Valley.
“Malaking bagay na rin 'yung matagal na kami magkakasama, advantage namin ’yun,” said Cagayan coach Nes Pamilar.
Up by two sets, the Lady Rising Suns collapsed in the third and fourth sets, allowing the Net Spikers to gain control.
Despite Smart ace spiker Valdez sitting out the early part of the fourth set after a collision with teammate Maru Banaticla, the Net Spikers regained control as Dindin Santiago scored three consecutive points against one by the Rising Suns to break the 22-all tie and extend the match to a fourth set.
The Net Spikers sustained the momentum until the fourth and came up with a 6-1 run for a seven-point gap, 16-9, then finished the set with seven straight points.
Thipachot took control for Cagayan Valley early in the deciding set, the 17-year old Thai reinforcement answering each point scored by Smart to keep the score knotted, 10-all.
Kesinee made 20 points for Smart, while Santiago added 12.