Smart tossers target solo lead in V-League

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Fancied Smart-Maynilad goes for a follow-up to its imposing straight-set win over Far Eastern University while Philippine National Police (PNP) hopes to bounce back from a five-set setback to Meralco as they clash today at resumption of the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan.

With University of Santo Tomas stalwart Maru Banaticla on the firing end, the Smart-Maynilad tossers overwhelmed the Lady Tams, 25-16, 25-5, 25-19, to join Meralco in the early lead after the Power Spikers came from behind to edge the Lady Patrolers, 25-17, 17-25, 21-25, 25-15, 15-9, in last Sunday’s opener of the league’s second conference.

Banaticla scattered 19 hits while drawing enough support from the team’s other stars. Including former Most Valuable Player Sue Roces and San Sebastian ace Grethcel Soltones, who added nine points each, and Charo Soriano and Nica Guliman, who had five hits apiece.

Ateneo de Manila University star Alyssa Valdez did not see action but is expected to suit up against a PNP side out to rebound strong from that sorry setback to Meralco.


Focus will be on Frances Molina and Janine Marciano, a pair of talents from San Beda who turned impressive games of 22 points each in their league debut last Sunday. Although PNP lost, the duo nevertheless showed a lot of promise and should be Smart’s main concern in their 2 p.m. encounter.

Capping the second playdate is the 4 p.m. match pitting Cagayan Province and Air Force, two debuting teams billed as title contenders for their equally-talented rosters.

The Rising Suns will be bannered by former UST aces Aiza Maizo and Angeli Tabaquero, Adamson stars Shiela Pineda and Pau Soriano, former MVP Sandra delos Santos of Perpetual Help, and veterans Joy Benito, Angelique Dionela, Relea Saet, Rose-marie Vargas and Wenneth Eulalio.

But the Air Force side is likewise oozing with talents with skipper Liza de Ramos spearheading the team that includes top hitters Joy Cases, Maika Ortiz, Iari Yongco and Judy Ann Caballejo along with Rhea Dimaculangan, Mary Ann Balmaceda and Jennifer Manzano.

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