Oragons back in win column, end 4-game skid
Joyce Sta. Rita of Iriga City denied the attack of Shannen Palec of Victoria Sports-University of Sto. Tomas.
(Batangas City Sports Center)
4:00 p.m. –- Petron vs. Iriga City
6:00 p.m. –- Foton vs. F2 Logistics
Iriga City ended a one-month drought, giving head coach Parley Tupaz a sigh of relief as the Oragons try to avoid ending up in a dangerous spot in the knockout quarterfinals.
The newbie club checked a four-game losing skid Thursday with a masterful 25-19, 25-21, 25-20 win over the listless Victoria Sports-University of Sto. Tomas in the 2017 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
“Sabi ko sa kanila importante manalo tayo ngayon para sa ranking para di naman namin makalaban yung no.1 kasi baka gulpihin kami kawawa kami,” said Tupaz, who is looking to avoid a possible collision with the top rank team, which could go to unbeaten F2 Logistics, defending champion Foton or Petron.
Serbian hitter Tamara Kmezic was all over the stats on offense, hitting 17 kills in her total of 20 points. She had two aces and a kill block for Iriga City’s second win in six outings tied with Cignal.
The Oragons found themselves dealing with a 7-12 deficit in the third set. Iriga City was down, 12-16, before mounting a scorching rally to take a 21-18 lead and never looked back.
Janeca Lana added nine points while Japanese import Sam Miyagawa added seven for the Oragons, who won their debut match against Sta. Lucia last October 24 before going south in their next four games following the one-year ban on hitter Grethcel Soltones for an infraction on the PSL’s one-league rule.
Iriga City still has Petron and F2 Logistics in their last elims assignments.
“Petron tsaka F2 hindi yun 50:50 baka 80:20 sobra akong dehado dun,” said Tupaz. “Pero try lang namin itaas ko lang ang score para baka magbilangan kami ng Sta. Lucia (sa quarters placing). Hindi mo masabi tumaas points ko di ako mag no.8 sana.”
Victoria Sports-UST officially bowed out of a quarterfinals contention with its sixth straight defeat. Even if the Tigresses end up with a 1-7 tie with SLR, the Lady Realtors will still clinch the last quarters berth by virtue of winner over the other tiebreak.
Carla Sandoval scored 14 points while Dimdim Pacres had 11 for the Tigresses.
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