Four-time champion RC Cola-Army hurdled past Petron Tri-Activ via a thrilling 25-18, 25-23, 21-25, 19-25, 15-11 decision to pocket the third-place trophy in the 2016 Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference women’s volleyball tournament on Thursday at The Arena in San Juan City.
Team captain Jovelyn Gonzaga sizzled with 17 attacks, five blocks and 14 digs while Sarah Jane Gonzales delivered 29 excellent sets for the Lady Troopers.
“It was a hard-fought game. We know that Petron is a strong team. They’re capable of making a comeback and they did in the third and fourth sets. But we never gave up. We fought hard to win this game,” said Gonzaga.
Open hitter Honey Royse Tubino contributed 15 markers on 12 hits and three blocks while Jessey De Leon and Nerissa Bautista chipped in 10 points each.
“This bronze shines like a gold for us. We were beaten by injuries to settle for third. But we’re happy that we wrapped up our campaign without any further injuries,” said RC Cola-Army head coach Kungfu Reyes referring to Rachel Anne Daquis and Joanne Bunag, who suffered injuries during the elimination round.
“We lost about 20 points per games from our starting players Joanne and Rachel. We made a lot of adjustments in our rotation. But overall, we’re happy that we’re still in the top four,” added Reyes.
The Tri-Activ Spikers – champions in the 2014 Grand Prix and 2015 All-Filipino conferences – settled for fourth place with Far Eastern University standout Bernadeth Pons leading the team with 17 points and Aiza Maizo-Pointillas adding 12.
It was RC Cola-Army’s final game this season as the Lady Troopers are scheduled to undergo an eight-month military training. They won’t be seeing action in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix slated later this year.
EMIL C. NOGUERA