Sasipaporn Janthawisut delivered 16 kills and two blocks to finish with 18 points while Sutadta Chuewulim chipped in 14 markers for Est Cola, which has yet to lose a single set since arriving here Tuesday.
Est Cola and RC Cola-Army will figure in a sudden-death finals showdown Saturday starting 12:30 pm.
“We will not try to aim for anything. I will try to do everything one hundred percent,” said Est Cola coach Chamnan Dokmai, whose wards survived a searing run by the Tri-Activ Spikers in the deciding set.
“Aside from treating fans to an elite level of competition, the participation of Est Cola will also give our local coaches and players a taste of competing against a topnotch team. This doesn’t only increase the level of competition, but also helps Philippine volleyball in general,” said PSL president Ramon “Tats” Suzara, a ranking executive of the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) and International Volleyball Federation (FIVB).
“We need more of this kind of competition. We have to expose our players to top-flight tourneys if we seriously want to regain our lofty status in the region.”
Although the Lady Troopers showed their weakness at the net with only four blocks against 10 of the Cargo Movers, Daquis and Gonzaga dominated offensively as they led the attack department (51-27).
“So far wala ako masabi, masaya ako kasi maganda tinatakbo ng team,” said de Guzman.
“Sila (younger players) ‘yung pumapalit doon sa mga beterano namin. Nadadala na nila ang pagiging sundalo nila, kung anong trabaho ang kailangan ginagawa nila araw-araw.”
“I would be lying if I say that we don’t want to win the All-Filipino Conference,” said Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos, recalling their bitter fate in the midseason conference.
“But I’m glad that we are given another chance to redeem ourselves. Being in the finals of the Invitational Conference is a blessing, it is an opportunity to pick up the pieces and become a PSL champion once more.”