Army guns for No. 3 vs. PNP; Meralco plays Navy

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Philippine Army braces for a strong bounce back by a Philippine National Police side coming off a two-week break while Meralco hopes to ride a win-loss-win-loss start with another win against winless Navy in the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan City today.

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Aside from the league-leading Cagayan Province (4-0), Army is the only other unbeaten squad in the eight-team field, mowing down Air Force and Navy in three. If they play true to form, the Army Women could do the same on the Lady Patrolers in their 2 p.m. showdown.

But the long break should give PNP the needed time to get into the winning act with hitters Xinia Molina, Janine Marciano, Michelle Datuin and setter Ana Conception hopeful to draw solid support from the rest.

The Lady Patrolers would actually need more than that to stop a solid Army side headed by Lovelyn Gonzaga, Nene Bautista, Joanne Bunag, Genie Sabas, Marietta Carolino, MJ Balse, Dahlia Cruz and playmaker Ma. Theresa Iratay.

Like Army, Meralco sets out as the favorite in its 4 p.m. clash with Navy, which like PNP, has dropped its first two assignments in the season-ending conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s.

Unlike PNP, however, Navy will have a lot of catching up to do following its lopsided setbacks, giving Meralco the upperhand and the drive to rebound from a three-set loss to Cagayan on Sunday.

The Power Spikers are gunning to improve on their 2-2 mark with 6-3 Chinese reinforcement Coco Wang tipped to lead the team’s attack again.

After nipping PNP in five in the league’s opener, Meralco tapped Wang, who, however, debuted with a sorry loss to Smart’s 22-25, 25-20, 25-20, 27-25.

But she bounced back by helping the team defeat Far Eastern U in a gripping five-setter, 25-12, 25-22, 18-25, 23-25, 15-13, only to lose again to the power-hitting Rising Suns.

In just three games, Wang is running third in scoring with 59 hits and No. 2 in spikes although the locals should step up to boost Meralco’s stock in the tournament backed by Mikasa and Accel.

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