Cocolife slips past Sta. Lucia Realty in Belo PSL Invitational


Cocolife’s Erika Alquino braces to strike past St. Lucia Realty’s Rachel Ann Austero during the Belo Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan on Friday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

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 (PSL) Invitational Conference on Friday 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.

Javier said they were in control in the deciding set, although there were some minor turbulence in the first few sets.

True enough, the Asset Managers were in a roller coaster 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. An error due to miscommunication between Djanel Cheng and Lourdes Clemente gave the Asset Managers the match point before Vargas delivered a sharp kill to seal the victory.

Ranya Musa had 12 kills and three aces to finish with 15 points while Navarro had 14 markers for Sta. Lucia, which ended its campaign in the season-opening conference at sixth place following an equally sorry five-set loss to Generika-Ayala Thursday.


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