Cignal’s hopes of making it to the final round of the 2016 PSL Invitational women’s volleyball tournament went down the drain on Saturday afternoon as powerhouse RC Cola-Army cruised to a convincing 25-16, 25-14, 25-19 victory at the FilOilFlying V Center in San Juan.
Star spiker Rachel Anne Daquis tallied a game-high 15 points, built around 11 kills, 3 service aces and a block, while fellow veteran Jovelyn Gonzaga scattered 12 of her 14 markers off hits as the Lady Troopers bounced back from a heart-breaking 5-setter loss against the Petron Tri-Activ Spikers last Thursday night.
Aside from securing its 5th win in 6 matches, 3-time PSL champion RC Cola-Army also ended the final round hopes of Cignal, which saw its 2-game winning streak come to a halt while dropping to an even 3-3 mark.
The HD Spikers’ loss also formalised for the entry of idle F2 Logistics (4-2) in the final round, with the Cargo Movers joining the Lady Troopers, the Tri-Activ Spikers and guest team EST Cola from Thailand in the 3-day volleyball spectacle starting on April 7.
RC Cola-Army assistant coach Rico De Guzman admitted their loss to the Tri-Activ Spikers somehow ignited the fire in the eyes of the Lady Troopers.
“After ng pagkatalo sa Petron, players ang nagdamdam kasi hindi sila makapaniwala na ganu’n ang lalaruin namin,” said De Guzman, who took over the coaching chores from Kung Fu Reyes who was attending to his commitment with UST which is battling Ateneo in the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tourney.
“Nagulat talaga kami sa nilaro nila. Off lahat rin sila. Naging palaisipan lang sa amin bakit ganu’n ang nilaro namin sa Petron,” he added.
Jeanette Panaga scored 8 of her 10 points off kills for the HD Spikers, who struggled to get their game going against the fired-up Lady Troopers.
Asked what he told his wards, De Guzman said: “Kumbaga kalaban natin Cignal, ipakita natin kung ano talaga ang talent natin. Gusto lang rin namin itama ‘yung mga mali na nagawa namin last time.” — By Jerome Lagunzad