PSL: TMS-Army flexes muscles over RC Cola
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Super Liga's first champions, the TMS-Philippine Army Lady Troopers, weathered a cold start and flexed their muscles to thwart the RC Cola Raiders in 4 sets, 19-25, 25-15, 25-21, and 25-16, Wednesday, November 13 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The Army started out flat as they couldn't get any offensive rhythm going despite the efforts of volleyball veterans Michelle Carolino and Mary Jean Balse.
But Jovelyn Gonzaga took over for the Army and scored 16 points on 12 spikes as her team picked up steam to start the second set up, 10-2. They never relented since then.
Meanwhile, RC Cola's Zhang Minghua was the brightest spot for their squad as she worked to keep their chances alive, scoring 16 points on 14 hits.
Late in the third, RC Cola had their chances to claim the set but the champions maintained their composure and relied on smarts and defense to squeak past RC Cola, 25-21.
In the final set, the Army had some difficulty getting matchpoint, giving away 5 straight points to RC Cola to make it 24-16 before a Gonzaga kill sealed the deal for them.
"Malaking tulong sa amin yung sa opensa (Offense was a big help for us)," head coach Rico De Guzman commended his team, noting that the addition of foreign imports to their team has given them more firepower.
"Malakas yung opensa namin pag dating kay (Luangtonglang) Wanitchaya. Wala kami problema pag dating sa kanya," he said of his Thai import that contributed 15 points. (Our offense is strong when it comes to Wanitchaya. We have no problems with her.)
Despite the win, De Guzman still sees problems with how their imports, particularly their import Yuki Murakoshi, has been adapting to the system and blending with the team.
"Ang problema namin sa depensa, kay Yuki, nahihiya pa siya (Our problem is on defense, with Yuki, she's still shy)," he admitted, adding that it's the same reason they had a lackluster first set.
On the part of RC Cola, miscommunication and poor defense plagued them.
"Hindi pa nagble-blend yung team kasi ilang days pa lang yung training namin," said RC Cola head coach Ronald Dulay. "Hindi pa magka-connect eh. Baka by next week na (after) mag-continuous na training namin mas maganda pa ilalaro namin." (The team hasn't blended yet because we've only had a few days of training. We can't connect yet. Maybe by next week after continuous training we can play better.) - Rappler.com