COCOLIFE blew hot and cold before finding its rhythm in the fifth set to overcome Sta. Lucia Realty, 25-23, 23-25, 25-17, 12-25, 15-11, in the classification battle for 4th to 6th places of the Belo Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference yesterday at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.
Rose Vargas and Michele Gumabao provided the fireworks in that torrid rally down the stretch to put Cocolife a win away from a fourth-place finish in this prestigious women’s club tourney sponsored by Asics, Mikasa, Mueller and Senoh with TV5 as official broadcast partner.
Petron and Foton, as well as Cignal and guest team Kobe Shinwa Women’s University are still clashing as of press time in the final round of this battle that also has Gold’s Gym as official fitness partner and UCPB Gen as official insurance provider.
The Japanese drew first blood as it pulled off a 25-15, 22-25, 25-18, 25-12 victory over the Tornadoes late Thursday.
Vargas spearheaded the assault with 18 kills for a game-high 20 points, while Gumabao nailed 18 markers for the Asset Managers, who played the Japanese squad in a friendly match in preparation for this important clash.
“Mas nakaganda ‘yung naging tuneup namin sa Japanese team,” said Cocolife coach Obet Javier, the architect of Arellano University’s rise to NCAA women’s volleyball stardom.
“Meron kaming natutunan du’n kahapon na dapat pag-whistle ng referee naka-ready ka na for service. Kanina medyo lumabas sa amin yung ganu’ng style, especially sa services ni (Kaye) Daly.”
Javier said they were in control in the deciding set, although there were some minor turbulence in the first few sets.
“Kung makikita natin, medyo in control na kami. Medyo nag-rerelax lang talaga sa una.”
True enough, the Asset Managers were in a roller-coaster ride in the first four sets, prompting the Lady Realtors to stretch the match to a deciding set.
But the fifth set was a completely different story as the Asset Managers quickly erected a 5-2 deficit before the Lady Realtors knotted it at 11, on an emphatic kill by Janine Navarro.
It was all Cocolife from there as Vargas shattered the deadlock with an attack off the block before foiling the attempt of Rialen Sante for a 13-11 advantage.
(FilOil Flying V Center)
3 p.m. – Cocolife vs Generika-Ayala
5 p.m. – Foton vs Cignal
7 p.m. – Kobe Shinwa vs Petron
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