PHILIPPINE Navy kept its semifinal hopes alive as it nipped first conference champion Ateneo 25-21,
19-25, 27-25, 25-23 in the Shakey’s V-League Open Conference Tuesday at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
Down by eight points, 9-17, in the third set the Lady Sailors scored eight unanswered points sparked by a Mayi Prochina hit to tie the game at 17-all and sustained the lead to close the set.
It was a tight fourth set but Navy took control when Kiteh Rosale’s lone block off a Dzi Gervacio
attack put the Sailors on match point, 24-22.
Ateneo failed to extend the match with a set error and absorbed its fifth loss, handing over the win to the Lady Sailors.
“Akala ko wala na kami,” said Philippine Navy coach Nene Ybanez. “Pero binigay sa amin to ni God kaya thankful kami. I told them let’s give our best, kung matalo basta binigay natin lahat ng makakaya natin.”
Rosale came up with 19 points, Prochina added 12 and Ailene Suson chipped in 10 for the Lady Sailors, who improved their win-loss record to 2-6. They can advance to the next phase if they win in their next matches against FEU on Sunday and Sandugo on Tuesday.
Allysa Valdez and Ella de Jesus fired 23 points apiece for Ateneo, who missed key players Fille Cainglet and libero Denden Lazaro and dropped to 3-5.
Cagayan Valley-Perpetual Help recovered from a sluggish start to beat defending champion Philippine Army 23-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-17 in the day's first match.
The Rising Suns faltered in the opening set but made adjustments on defense and offense to pull off the win and tie the Lady Troopers for second with identical 6-2 win-loss slates.
Joy Cases poured in three straight points to close the third and Cagayan controlled the tempo the entire final set with a six-to-nothing run to make it 13-8 and the Rising Suns never looked back.
Kunbang Pornpimol produced 20 points while team captain Cases and Sutadta Chuewulim came up with 17 apiece for Cagayan Valley.
“Nag-adjust kami sa blocking, sa receiving at sa depensa,” said Cagayan coach Mike Rafael. “Nahuhuli na nila yung play namin kaya nag-drop shot kami.”
Jovelyn Gonzaga and Jacqueline Alarca stepped up in the absence of ace player Michelle Carolino, finishing with 16 and 10 points, respectively for the Lady Troopers who entered the game as favorites after toppling league-leading Sandugo-San Sebastian.
In the nightcap, Sandugo-San Sebastian kept its hold of the top spot as it thumped Far Eastern University, 25-23, 25-19, 23-25, 25-15, and bolstered its twice to beat advantage in the semis.
Leading by five, 22-16, FEU's new Thai import Sangmuang Patcharee poured four straight points to keep the Lady Tams alive in the game.
But conference the Lady Stags took control early in the
final set, and then silenced the Lady Tamaraws with a nine-point blast for an 11-6 lead and never looked back again,
The Lady Stags, who bounced back after bowing to defending champion Philippine Army, was led by former two-time MVP Jeng Baulee who had 25 points while, Utaiwan Kaensing and Angela Benting contributed 16 and 11, respectively.
Patcharee finished with 13 points, while Iris Patrona
and Wenneth Eullalio came with 25 combined points for FEU, which remained winless in eight outings.