Cocolife shocks Cignal in 5-set thriller
Cocolife surprised Cignal with a stinging come-from-behind five-set victory.
(FilOil Flying V Centre)
2:00 p.m. –- Foton vs Iriga
4:15 p.m. –- UST vs Cocolife
7:00 p.m. –- F2 Logistics vs Sta. Lucia
BACOLOD CITY –- The Cocolife Asset Managers left the jampacked University of St. La Salle gym here with smiles on their faces.
Winless in their first two outings, the Asset Managers needed some time to heat up before pulling off a thrilling come-from-behind 19-25, 24-26, 27-25, 25-16, 15-9, victory over Cignal Saturday in the 2017 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix.
Cocolife sustained the momentum it built after surviving the third set to barge in the win column.
“Napakalaking turning point sa amin ito,” said head coach Kungfu Reyes, whose squad was scheduled to fly back to Manila late Saturday night. “Napag-usapan nga naming ng management at coaching staff na kailangan naming kunin ito otherwise lulubog kami. It’s sink or swim ang mangyayari sa amin. Ngayon nagdive kami pero umahon ulit kami. This time malaking bagay na nanalo kami kasi morale-booster ito eh.”
American imports Taylor Milton and Shar Latai Manu-Olevao exploded both on offense and floor defense to lead the Asset Managers, who came up on top despite an atrocious 31-error outing.
Milton scored all but one of her points from kills while adding six digs and eight excellent receptions while Manu-Olevao posted 20 attacks in her 23-marker outing with six digs for Cocolife.
Veteran Mary Jean Balse-Pabayo turned back the hands of time with 11 points while another grizzled hitter Nene Bautista hammered nine markers.
The Asset Managers started out flat as their errors mounted in the first two sets. Cocolife squandered a 23-21 lead in the third before making crucial stops and hits to extend the match.
With momentum on their side, the Asset Managers immediately dictated the pace in the fourth frame to force a deciding set. Cocolife broke free from a tight fifth frame midway in the battle.
American import Alexis Mathews got 20 points off 16 hits and four kill blocks while Australian Beth Carey finished with 13 for the HD Spikers, who dropped to 1-3 slate tied with Generika-Ayala.
Honey Royse Tubino and Jovelyn Ginzaga got 12 and 11 markers, respectively, for Cignal.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles