Philippine Army flaunted its superb defensive prowess to dispose of Philippine Air Force, 25-13, 25-22, 25-18, and serve notice of its title bid in the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan on Sunday.
Outhit by the Air Women, 35-37, the Army Women leaned on their net defense to neutralize their rivals, coming through with 11 blocks, including six from Jovelyn Gonzaga to fashion out the straight-set victory.
Army debuted without some of its stars but Gonzaga, Mary Jean Balse, Joanne Bunag, Cristina Salak, Jacqueline Alarca, Michelle Carolino and libero Patricia Torres hardly felt their absence and got the job done just the same in 71 minutes.
Gonzaga came away with 16 hits, Balse tossed in 11 and skipper Bunag and setter Salak chipped in nine points apiece for the Army Women, who also boast of Rachel Anne Daquis, Nene Bautista, Ma. Theresa Iratay, Dahlia Cruz and Marietta Carolino.
Army also scored heavily off the serve, delivering eight aces, including four from Balse, as the Army Women overcame the Air Women’s advantage in non-scoring skills—dig (25-34), set (22-25) and reception (10-17)—to hurdle their first match.
It was a sorry setback for Air Force, which rallied to seize a 19-17 edge in the second set only to blow it as Gonzaga took charge to turn things around for Army.