Cocolife, Cignal end prelims on high note

ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 27, 2017 10:05 PM
Cocolife, Cignal end prelims on high note
Cignal defeats Generika-Ayala in four sets to end the preliminary round on a high note. (File photo)

BALIUAG, Bulacan --- Cocolife pounced hard on Cherrylume’s sluggish defense and lousy executions to tally a convincing 25-22, 25-16, 25-19 victory in the Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference Tuesday at the Baliwag Star Arena here.

Michelle Gumabao shone as the Asset Managers shut down their campaign in the preliminaries on a sizzling note.

It was Cocolife’s second victory in six outings, formally giving them the third spot in Pool D and the right to face heavyweight Cignal in the do-or-die quarterfinal battle when the league moves back to Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan this Thursday.

In the other match, the HD Spikers defeated Generika-Ayala, 19-25, 30-28, 25-22, 25-16, for a 5-1 slate behind the combined 26 points of Cherry Vivas and Honey Royse Tubino.

Cignal closed the prelims with a 5-1 slate tied with Foton but the Tornadoes took the top spot in Pool C because of a higher tiebreak.  

Cherrylume, on the other hand, suffered its sixth straight setback, needing to pull off a miracle against top seed Foton in the quarterfinals to stay alive in this tourney.

Other quarterfinal pairings feature F2 Logistics against Generika-Ayala and Petron against Sta. Lucia Realty.

Gumabao, who won three titles for La Salle in the UAAP, delivered 10 kills and an ace while Shannen Palec had nine markers for the Asset Managers, who exposed the chink on the defensive armor of the Iron Lady Warriors using their well-run plays and crisp executions.

Cocolife took advantage of Cherrylume’s anemic execution with 34 attack points compared to the Iron Lady Warriors’ 19. The Asset Managers also capitalized on the 32 points awarded to them by the Iron Lady Warriors off turnovers.

Despite the impressive win, Gumabao said they remain a work in progress.

“We’re still working on our communication inside the court,” said Gumabao, looking forward to a titanic match against the HD Spikers bannered by the prized troika of Honey Royse Tubino, Rachel Anne Daquis and national team stalwart Jovelyn Gonzaga.

“We had some lapses in our communication in our past few games. I hope we could resolve that now that we’re entering the quarterfinals. We still have a lot of things to work on.”

A team composed of stars of the University of the East, Cherrylume appeared ready to bury the forgettable first two sets and stretch the match to fourth set after Seth Rodriguez ended a long rally with a drop shot for the equalizer, 10-all.

But that proved to be the final stand of the Lady Warriors as Gumabao, Erika Alkuino and Palec waxed hot to capture a 23-17 advantage.

Carla Sandoval scored the match point before Gumabao punctuated another long rally with a match-clinching block.

Captain Mary Ann Mendrez had 11 points for the Iron Lady Warriors, whose lone set victory came at the expense of the Asset Managers in their first meeting.

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