PLDT Home Ultera outduelled Army in a scrambling back-and-forth match all throughout and came away with a 25-21, 25-22, 22-25, 25, 25-21 decision on Sunday to capture the Shakey’s V-League Season 12 Reinforced Conference crown via sweep before a big roaring crowd at The Arena in San Juan City.
Foiled in a rollercoaster third set, the Ultra Fast Hitters outlasted the Lady Troopers in the fourth that was close throughout until Alyssa Valdez bucked a sore knee and presided the team’s late charge with a series of vicious spikes before Army’s Aby Maraño handed the crown to Home Ultera with a net violation.
“I kept asking her if she’s okay at every point. And she told me, she is,” said Home Ultera coach Roger Gorayeb of Valdez, who limped to the bench with the score tied at 13 in the fourth after hurting her right knee when she fell and hit the head of teammate Sue Roces while trying for a dig.
“Helping the team win the championship is my goal above anything else,” said Valdez, who tallied 22 points, including four aces, after a 25-hit effort in powering Home Ultera to a come-from-behind 16-25, 20-25, 26-24, 29-27, 18-16 victory in Game One. She took home the Finals MVP honors.
The one-hour, 50-minute victory, marked by a number of long rallies, superb blocking, stinging spikes, tips and dinks, also capped Home Ultera’s domination of Army and the league sponsored by Shakey’s as the Ultra Fast Hitters also edged the Lady Troopers, 2-1, to snare the Open Conference diadem early this year.
Gorayeb also completed a record personal “slam,” winning all three titles disputed in the 12th season of the league where it all started, including the Collegiate championship for National U over former team Ateneo.
Import Sareea Freeman backed Valdez with 17 hits, including six blocks and a number of tips.