TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines — The fancied Cagayan squad lived up to its billing as they nipped a tough Ritz Tower-Tacloban squad, 25-20, 25-19, 25-23 Thursday, June 27 to book a ticket to the round robin finals of the Gov. Alvaro Antonio Friendship Games at the People’s Gymnasium here.
Aiza Maizo and Thai import Anongporn assured that no upsets will happen in Day 4 as they put up the crucial points in the third set to escape a fighting Tacloban side and move closer to the championship.
With one team fighting for pride and the other fighting merely to survive, Cagayan and Tacloban exchanged furious attacks early on with no team getting more than 3 points away from the other.
With pressure for the underdogs mounting, Anongporn pounced on some crucial errors by Tacloban to run away with the first set, 25-20.
Joy Benito then weaved a mini-run to start the second set but Tacloban refused to be blown away as they leveled the score at 12 apiece. However, former University of Santo Tomas standout Maizo found her groove late in the set to engineer a 25-19 second set win.
Both teams then continued their exchange as Anongporn, together with compatriot Kanika came out big with attacks coming from all sides while Tacloban held on mightily to survive Cagayan’s game-ending onslaught.
The favorites proved to be too much for the Visayan squad, though, as they finally escaped Tacloban, 25-23.
In the men’s division, Philippine Air Force went down the wire to finish off Cagayan, 19-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-19, 15-10 and National University needed 4 sets to subdue National College of Business and the Arts, 25-11, 21-25, 25-20, 25-19.
Perpetual, on the other hand, had an easy outing today against All-Star, 25-19, 25-22, 25-16.
Cagayan and Tuguegarao will be facing off in a blockbuster first leg of the final round tomorrow as they wait for Army and Air Force to conclude the battle for the top spot in Bracket C. – Rappler.com
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