CAGAYAN Valley-Perpetual Help readily made its presence felt in the semifinals of the Shakey’s V-League Open Conference on Wednesday when it stunned defending champion Philippine Army in the opener of their best-of-three duel.
The Rising Suns dictated the tempo of the game at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium and won Game One in straight sets, 25-20, 25-15, 25-20.
Cagayan goes for the kill on Friday when Game Two of the series is played also at the same venue.
Sandra delos Santos had 12 points for the Rising Suns, including three straight to clinch the win for the team.
Kunbang Pornpimol finished with 18 points while Honey Royse Tubino chipped in 12 for the Rising Suns, who entered the semis as the third seeds.
Cagayan also controlled the net well with 12 blocks.
“Maganda `yung blocking namin ngayon. Pinag-praktisan talaga namin `yung blocking at kung sino ang dapat bantayan sa kanila,” said Cagayan Valley coach Mike Rafael.
The Rising Suns trailed midway in the second set, but scored 12 unanswered points for a 23-13 lead en route to winning the set.
Portent of things to come were already apparent right on the two teams’ first meeting last August 24 when Cagayan stretched the reigning champions to five sets before losing, 25-17, 20-25, 18-25, 25-20, 25-15.
Then the Rising Suns got back at the Lady Troopers in their rematch just last week, 23-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-17.
The Troopers came out flat as none among them finished in double figures. Joanne Bunag, Rachel Anne Daquis, and Jaqueline Alarca had eight points apiece to lead the team.
Slated to be played at 4 p.m., the game was delayed for about an hour due to technical difficulties in the OB van of the league’s television coveror.
This marked the second time the scheduled games were delayed. Last August 21 and 26, matches also had to start late as there was power failure in the playing venue.