SuperLiga: Raiders impress again, Lady Rising Suns get first win
MANILA, Philippines – The RC Cola-AirForce Raiders put on another dominant effort and remained flawless, while the Cagayan Province Lady Rising Suns finally put an end to their losing streak by beating the defending champions of the Philippine SuperLiga on June 1, Sunday, at the Cuneta Astrodome.
RC Cola stays immaculate with 3-set triumph over PLDT
The RC Cola-AirForce Raiders won their second straight match without dropping a set, beating the PLDT Home TVolution Power Attackers, 25-18, 25-23, 25-18, behind Judy Caballejo’s 16 points.
RC Cola, which swept Cignal in their first game of the All-Filipino Conference, improved to 2-0 to tie AirAsia and Petron as the current top-ranked clubs in the league standings.
PLDT, which was spearheaded by Charo Soriano and her 11 points, fell to 2-2 and in 4th place.
The Raiders also got contributions from mainstay veterans Joy Cases and Maika Ortiz, who each scored 11 in the victory.
“Pinaghandaan namin kalaban namin (We prepared for our opponent),” said Raiders head coach Clarence Esteban after the contest.
The newcomer surpassed the entire squad's performance in the last PSL conference by two wins. Esteban said their defense focused on “paralyzing” the Power Attackers’ open spiker.
AirForce built a 10-point cushion in the game’s opening period, but that dwindled to 7, 22-15, thanks to consecutive scores from Coach Roger Gorayeb’s girls.
However, moments later, Cases, who had just committed an error, awarded her team with a 1-0 lead after converting on a score to win the set, 25-18.
Thanks to a 7-2 run in the second quarter, PLDT went on top 22-17 and seemed poised to tie the contest.
But RC Cola quickly countered, erecting a 4-0 rally that was halted by a Soriano kill, 23-21. The Raiders would then go on to put up a second 4-0 run – capped off by another conversion score from Cases – to attain a superior 2-0 advantage.
The Power Attackers fell behind by 5 in the 3rd set, prompting their coach to wonder what was wrong with their in-game mentality during a time-out.
Still, Gorayeb’s motivational tactic wasn’t able to work, as the Raiders ran away with the third period and the victory.
Cagayan Province ends losing streak, keeps Generika-Army winless
After dropping their first 3 games of the conference, the Cagayan Province Lady Rising Suns finally secured their first win, defeating defending champions Generika-Army Lady Troopers, 25-17, 25-21, 23-25, 25-17, to improve to 1-3.
The Lady Troopers and the Cignal HD Spikers – the two teams that made it to each of the last two Philippine SuperLiga finals – are now tied for last place in the league standings with identical 0-2 showings.
Four players scored in double-figures for the winning side, led by Janine Marciano, who put up 20 points. Aizo Maizo pitched in with 18, while Angeli Tabaquero and Pau Soriano contributed 11 and 10, respectively.
Cagayan Province got off to a good start, building an early 11-3 lead to take hold of the momentum. The Lady Rising Suns would go on to win the first set, and then followed it up by prevailing in the second period as well.
Mid-way through the 3rd set, Army stared at a 3-point deficit and a possible defeat via sweep. But thanks to some heroics from Rachel Anne Daquis, who totaled 12 markers for the game, their club produced a rally to go up four, 20-16.
The Nes Pamilar-coached Rising Suns would then combat with a 3-point spurt of their own, topped off by a Jacqueline Alarca error.
Thanks to a couple of late errors from Cagayan, though, the Lady Troopers escaped the third set with a win.
However, Generika struggled on defense in the 4th period, as the Lady Rising Suns ran away with the win, 25-17.
Nene Bautista top scored for Generika-Army with 15, while Shakey’s V-League champion Jovelyn Gonzaga submitted 13 markers.
After the contest, Army head coach Rico De Guzman said that it has been difficult playing without veterans Tina Salak, Joanne Bunag, Michelle Carolino, and Meyeth Carolina – all of whom have been vital cogs in the team’s system and absent due to Army duties.
However, the two-time PSL champion coach mentioned that Salak may make an appearance in her squad’s next matchup, which is on Wednesday, June 4, against Cignal at 4 pm in a finals rematch between winless clubs.
Cagayan Province, meanwhile, will look to make it two wins in a row against RC Cola-AirForce on the same day at 2 pm. Both jousts will take place at the Cuneta Astrodome.
PSL to make way for Cagayan Friendship Games
According to an official letter released by Philippine SuperLiga president Tats Suzara, the league will not hold any games from June 22-30 in order to avoid schedule conflicts with those participating in the Cagayan Friendship Games that will be held in Tuguegarao.
The league is set to release an updated schedule that will include a revision of the PSL out-of-town game date, which was originally scheduled on Saturday, June 28, at the Binan Coliseum in Binan City.
The schedule is expected to come out sometime tonight or tomorrow. – Rappler.com