• Customs nails semis berth, routs Coast Guard

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    Thai Kanjana Kuthaisong fires away a kill against Coast Guard’s Sheila Marie Cecilio during their Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference duel at the Philsports Arena. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    Thai Kanjana Kuthaisong fires away a kill against Coast Guard’s Sheila Marie Cecilio during their Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference duel at the Philsports Arena. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    Stalled the last time out, Customs freely made it to the Final Four this time, beating a hapless Coast Guard side, 25-18, 25-12, 25-18, to join University of Santo Tomas (UST) and Pocari Sweat in the next round of the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Reinforced Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig on Wednesday.

    The Transformers hardly worked out a sweat in disposing of the Lady Dolphins, knocking down kills on both sides, scoring on aces and foiling their rivals’ attacks with solid net defense to log the 66-minute victory four days after suffering a surprise three-set setback to the Pocari Sweat Lady Warriors last weekend.

    With a 4-2 slate, Customs formalized its stint in the semis of the season-ending conference of the league where it all started with UST (5-1) and Pocari (4-1) with BaliPure (3-1) seeking to complete the cast with a victory against Laoag in a game being played at presstime.

    Coast Guard actually scored three straight points to close in at 18-24 in the third set but the Transformers finished off the Lady Dolphins after a brief rally, dealing the Dolphins their sixth straight loss in the league sponsored by Shakey’s and backed by Mikasa as official ball and Accel as official outfitter.

    “We’re really happy to win, this is a confidence-booster as we head to the semis,” said Customs skipper Alyssa Valdez, the league’s leading scorer who slowed down with a 14-hit game. “We still have to learn from our mistakes, the little things inside the court which make the difference at the end of the game.”

    Pitted against a winless team, Customs coach Sherwin Meneses used a variety of combinations while giving the rest of the squad the needed exposure as they head to the Final Four grind next week.

    Thai reinforcement Kanjana Kuthaisong scored seven points in a two-set stint, so did Michiko Castaneda and Lilet Mabbayad, who added five hits a piece, while eight others chipped in one point or more for the Transformers.

    Sam Dawson fired 11 hits for Coast Guard, which also drew six markers from skipper Hazel Mea and five points from Michaella Caraan but the Lady Dolphins simply couldn’t match their rivals power and depth.

    Customs unloaded 36 spikes, 15 more than Coast Guard and had seven blocks and nine aces against its rivals 2 and seven, respectively.

    Earlier, Air Force pounded out a 22-25, 25-22, 25-15, 25-21 victory over Instituto Estetico Manila to move within a win from sweeping the single round elims of the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Third Conference, also at the Philsports Arena.

    The Jet Setters struggled early in the absence of Jessie Lopez, Mark Alfafara and Bryan Bagunas. But they recovered in time to blast the IEM spikers with 61 spikes, 22 more than their rivals, who, however, cashed in on their poor reception to produce five aces.

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