SANDUGO-San Sebastian outlasted Cagayan Valley-Perpetual Help in a five-set thriller, 18-25, 29-27, 14-25, 25-13, 15-7, to close in on the Shakey’s V-League Open Conference championship at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on a wet Sunday night.
The Lady Stags and Rising Suns battled each other tooth-and-nail, unmindful of the heavy downpour outside that marred Game One of the best-of-three Finals.
Two-time MVP Jeng Baulee, adjudged the league's Best Scorer earlier, led the Sandugo charge with 26, while Best Blocker Utaiwan had 23 off 16 attacks, four block points, and three service aces.
The top-seeded team goes for the kill on Tuesday when Game Two of the title series is played at 6 p.m.
After splitting the first two sets, Cagayan moved on the verge after taking the third set, rallying from a 1-7 hole and turning it into a 14-9 edge.
But the Lady Stags mightily fought back, unloading eight points which April Anne Sartin capped with a hit, to take the fourth and forge a deciding fifth set.
Honey Royse Tubino, named the conference’s Best Attacker, provided Cagayan with 17 markers, Thai reinforcements Kunbang Pornpimol and Sutadta Chuewulim chipped in 17 and 10, respectively, while Most Valuable Player Sandra delos Santos came with 11.