NEWCOMER AirAsia caught the last bus to the semifinals after it rose from the grave and defeated Cagayan Valley in a thrilling five-setter, 16-25, 16-25, 25-16, 25-17, 15-13, in the Philippine Super Liga All Filipino Conference at the Astrodome on Sunday.
Stephanie Mercado came away with 22 points for the Flying Spikers, while Abi Marano, Cha Cruz, and Micmic Laborte added combined for 44 points.
The Flying Spikers will now face two-time champion Generika-Army on Wednesday in their knockout semifinal match.
Down by two sets, the Flying Spikers suddenly came alive to force a decider.
AirAsia raced to a 3-0 lead in the fifth set before it inched closer to victory, 14-10.
Aiza Maizo shed light to the flickering hopes of the Lady Rising Suns and cut down the deficit to 13-14.
But Michelle Gumabao, who is coming off a two-month hiatus from volleyball due to showbiz stint, came with a power spike at the middle for the exclamation point.
"Na challenge kami doon sa first two sets na natalo kami, eye opener sa amin 'yun na dapat kami bumangon. 'Di kami dapat magsisi after the game," said Marano.
"Sa mga sumunod na set, na-boost naman ang morale namin, inisip lang namin na dapat maglaro kami as one team," she added.
Maizo came with 23 points but not enough to salvage Cagayan Valley’s semifinal hopes.
Angge Tabaquero and Rosemarie Vargas added 13 markers each for the Lady Rising Suns.