Short in manpower but not in talent, Smart posted its second straight-set victory, beating Philippine National Police (PNP), 25-14, 25-15, 25-17, to wrest the solo lead in the early going of the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan on Friday.
Showing up with just eight players for the second straight time, the Smart tossers got the job done just the same with former Most Valuable Player Sue Roces leading the attack with 21 hits, including 15 attacks, five service aces and one block.
Gretchel Soltones, the 17-year-old hitter out of San Sebastian, also turned in a solid game of 13 hits she spiked with 11 kills, as the Smart side continued to live up to its pre-tournament hype as one of the teams to beat.
Smart whisked off Far Eastern University, 25-16, 25-5, 25-19, last Sunday.
Except for libero Melissa Gohing, all seven players fielded in by coach Roger Gorayeb scored with Mica Guliman and Charo Soriano adding eight and seven points, respectively, Maru Banaticla scoring four and setters Rubie de Leon and Jem Ferrer chipping two and one, respectively.
PNP’s Frances Xinia Molina and Janine Nicole Marciano scored only 13 and 10, respectively, after coming through with 22 points each in a 25-17, 17-25, 21-25, 25-15, 15-9 loss to Meralco, also last Sunday.
Although undermanned, Smart is making full use of two of the best setters in the country today, de Leon and Ferrer, who alternated in setting up Roces and Soltones.
Smart finished with 24 excellent sets as against PNP’s 14, courtesy of Ana Concepcion, and had 16 excellent digs as against its rival’s measly five-dig output.
The Lady Patrolers fell to their second straight setback.