Three was the magic number for the Generika-Army Troopers today as they upended the AirAsia Flying Spikers in three sets, 25-19, 25-23, 25-16, on July 20 at the Cuneta Astrodome to reach the Philippine SuperLiga women’s division finals for the third straight conference.
“Hindi ko ineexpect (the outcome),” winning coach Rico de Guzman said, who was anticipating a closer battle against AAZ. In their prior meeting in the elims, Generika-Philippine Army prevailed in four sets.
“Basta manalo kami, ok na,” he added as he and the Troopers arranged a finals encounter against the RC Cola-Philippine Air Force Raiders.
The only time the victors encountered resistance was in the second set. The Flying Spikers only needed two more points to close it out, but they were stopped on their tracks. Mary Jean Balse found an open area on the right side and directed her attack from the middle towards there to tie the count at 23-all. Jovelyn Gonzaga then scored off the block and Rachel Ann Daquis won the joust against Micmic Laborte to conclude the set.
“Yung opensa namin minalas lang siguro,” de Guzman remarked regarding the second set, citing the lack of finishing as the reason of why it was much more even than the two other frames. “OK naman yung receive namin at yung set.”
De Guzman shared that after learning that they were to face AirAsia Zest in the semis, they concentrated on stopping the Flying Spikers’ main guns namely, Cha Cruz, Stephanie Mercado, and Aby Marano. This proved to be fruitful as the three combined for only 22 points with Mercado the only one who scored in double figures with a measly ten points.
A troika of Troopers breached the ten-point mark with Gonzaga leading the way with 14 points. Balse and Nerissa Bautista continue to turn back the clock as they combined for 22 markers.
Generika-Army outclassed the redshirts in nearly all statistical departments, a testament to the Troopers’ domination in the match.
AirAsia goes up against fellow vanquished-in-the-semifinal-round squad PLDT in the battle for third place.