EMILY Brown bounced back from a lethargic performance in the semifinals as RC Cola Air Force claimed third place with a 26-24, 23-25, 25-20, 26-24 win over Cignal on Sunday in the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Brown, the 6-foot-2 American import, scored 24 points for RC Cola Air Force, two days after a nine-point match in the semifinal against Generika.
Bonita Wise, the 5-foot-9 former University of Cincinnati standout, added 14 for the Raiders.
"Nag step up talaga 'yung dalawang foreign players," said Raiders mentor Rhovyl Verayo. "Not like noong Friday na si Emily talagang wala, kahit itago namin lumalabas talaga na may sakit siya."
Maika Ortiz and Judy Ann Caballejo combined for 24 points for RC Cola Air Force.
Down by two, 16-18, in the fourth set, Brown and Wise led a 7-3 run to push RC to match point 24-21.
Cignal answered with its own 3-0 spurt behind Lindsay Stalzer to tie the match, 24-all, but Wise and Caballejo scored to give RC Cola Air Force the victory.
Caballejo did not disappoint Verayo's expectations as replacement for Joy Cases, who was used for a limited time during the first set.
"Sabi ko lang sa kanila mag-focus kayo, alam ko sobra sobra na ang pressure sa inyo pero dapat tapusin na natin sa fourth set," said Verayo.
"Magaling na player si Joy kaya lang mas confident ako sa defense ni Caballejo," said Verayo. "Galing kasi kami sa sunud-sunod na laro tight na rin ang muscles ni Joy walang pahinga kaya sumubok ako kay Judy at nag-click naman."
The Raiders dropped a notch after finishing first runner up to Philippine Army in the All Filipino Conference in July.
"Hindi rin kasi masasabi eh, iba rin ang All Filipino iba rin ang may foreign, hindi ko sinasabi na mahina ang foreign namin kasi sila nga inaasahan ko sa leadership at sa defense," said Verayo.
Sarah Ammerman scored 26 points, skipper Honey Royse Tubino had 15, while Abi Praca and Stalzer each had 10 markers for Cignal.