Cagayan Valley closes in on return trip to V-League finals with four-set win over PLDT
Rosemarie Vargas comes up huge as Cagayan Valley boosts its bid for another finals appearance. Dante Peralta

CAGAYAN Valley continued its resurgence and closed in on a return trip to the finals with a 25-11, 18-25, 25-14, 25-20 win over PLDT in the V-League Open semifinals on Thursday at The Arena in San Juan.

Former Far Eastern University standout Rosemarie Vargas came up with 18 points as the Lady Rising Suns, which had a recent dip in performance, scored their second straight victory including the final match in the round-robin quarterfinals.

The victory in the opener of the best-of-three semifinals puts the Rising Suns’ title retention bid back on track.

Janine Marciano added 16 points, Aiza Maizo had 12 and Pau Soriano chipped in 11 as Cagayan Valley took one hour and 40 minutes to finish the match.

“Siguro ’yung mga pinaghihirapan namin andito na,” said Lady Rising Suns mentor Nes Pamilar, whose team struggled in the six-team quarterfinal round losing four consecutive times before it won against Air Force.

“’Yung panalo namin sa Air Force ’yun ang nagbigay sa amin ng chance na makapasok sa semis, at sabi ko sa kanila ’wag na natin pabayaan, ituluy-tuloy na natin,” he added.

Cagayan Valley used a 15-5 run to turn a 4-10 deficit into a 19-15 lead.

PLDT’s Gretchel Soltones scored to make it, 16-19, but Vargas answered right away with three successive spikes to stretch the gap to 22-16.

“Si Rose maganda ang pinakita pero lahat maganda ang laro ngayon, siguro noong pag pasok ng quarterfinals ’di nagkakasabay-sabay na maganda ang laro, pero sabi ko nga kung hindi natin tutulungan si Aiza (Maizo) di tayo mananalo," said Pamilar.

Sue Roces had 14 points for the Power Attackers, while Soltones finished with 13 and Royce Estampa contributed 12.

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