Cagayan Valley stops PLDT in three sets to move within a win of another title showdown with Army
Aiza Maizo-Pontillas leads all scorers with 16 points, helping Cagayan Valley close in on another finals appearance. Dante Peralta

CAGAYAN Valley made short work of PLDT Home Telpad, 25-15, 25-20, 25-16, on Sunday to move closer to another title duel with Army in the Shakey’s V-League Season 11 Third Conference at The Arena in San Juan.

Like in their first round sweep of the Turbo Boosters last Oct. 12, the Rising Suns pounded their rivals’ net and floor defense with smashes from all angles, coming away with their third victory in five games in just 72 minutes.

That put Cagayan within a win of another title match against unbeaten Army, who swept the Rising Suns in the Open Conference finals. The Lady Troopers secured the first finals slot last week.

The Rising Suns close out their elimination-round schedule against winless Meralco on Thursday.

PLDT Home Telpad dropped to 2-3 and will need to hurdle Army on Tuesday and hope for a Meralco reversal to force a playoff for the other finals berth.

Aiza Maizo-Pontillas led Cagayan with 16 hits including two aces, while Thai reinforcement Amporn Hyapha added 11 points including two blocks. Saengmuang Patcharee, the other Thai import, chipped in seven while Pau Soriano and Ma. Angeli Tabaquero combined for 11 markers.

Gretchel Soltones topscored for PLDT Home Telpad with 12 hits, while former MVP Sue Roces struggled with just eight and Angela Benting and Ryzabelle Devanadera added six and three points, respectively.

Far Eastern University edged Rizal Technological University 25-18,25-15, 23-25, 20-25, 15-9 to close out its campaign at 2-4.

RTU, which needed to sweep its last two games in the double-round eliminations among four teams to stay in the hunt, also bowed out of the finals race with a 1-4 slate.

That leaves league-leading Instituto Estetico Manila (4-1) and Systema Tooth and Gum Care (3-1) to dispute the first-ever men’s V-League crown.

The Tamaraws produced 60 kills, including a combined 34-point effort from Joshua Barrica and Greg Dolor, against the Thunder’s 41.

Barrica finished with 26 points while Dolor wound up with 17. Three other Tamaraws had double-digit scores with Joel Cayaban firing 14, Jeric Gacutan 11 and Lucky Margante 10.

The Thunder drew 32 hits from Alnasip Laja and Abdul Jaidal but failed to sustain their fightback in the fifth with Sabtal Abdul settling for eight hits and Pathie Jamiri and Sahud Masahud finishing with six and five points, respectively.

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