LINGAYEN, Pangasinan - National Capital Region opened their bid to return to the top of Palarong Pambansa, blasting Ilocos Region in straight sets to book their second win in the secondary girls volleyball competition of the 2012 edition of the annual games here.
The Big City spikers won 25-15, 25-16 and leaned on a balanced and more systematic attack to dispose of the Region I bets, who boast of a star spiker stuck in a disorganized system.
"I do not consider one player na nag-shine today (There was not one player that shone today)," coach Grace Bita said. "It's really a team effort."
Led by a core of Colegio San Agustin juniors and Ateneo recruit Marge Tejada, the NCR belles went toe-to-toe with the Pangasinan-based squad early but proved to be the stronger team as the latter withered in the later stages of the first set.
Holding a precarious 11-9 advantage in the opening set, NCR launched a 9-2 blitz that turned the frame into a rout.
Aiko Sweet Urlas tried to carry the Region I crew on her back, delivering bullet-like hits while also anchoring their defense with above-average reception.
Her teammates, however, did not rise to the occasion as their lethargic floor defense failed to take advantage of an otherwise lousy outing from NCR.
The home bets sped to a 3-1 lead in the second set but failed to sustain their charge with the Big City spikers stepping up their attack.
A Tejada block gave NCR their first advantage at 6-5, the start of a 7-0 run that settled things once and for all.
"Nag-aadjust pa kami kase masyadong open court ito e (We're still adjusting our game because the court is more open than we're used to)," Bita added. "Pero nagkakaintindihan naman sila (But they've still managed to work well together)." - Rappler.com
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