MANILA, Philippines - Sandugo-San Sebastian grounded Navy with an imposing game and came away with a 25-18, 25-12, 25-20 victory to nail the No. 1 spot in the Final Four while giving Ateneo a free ride to the semis at the close of the Shakey's V-League Open elims at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium yesterday.
Jeng Bualee banged away 21 kills and finished with 22 markers while fellow Thai Utaiwan Kaensing tossed in 11 points and Angela Benting added eight hits for the Lady Stags, who clinched the top berth in the semis with a 9-1 card.
The victory also gave Ateneo, with a 3-6 card with one game to play, the fourth and last Final Four seat as the Sailors dropped to 2-8.
The Sailors, who had hoped for a win coupled with an Ateneo loss to force a playoff for the last semis berth, struggled with their offense, coming up with just eight excellent sets against the Lady Stags’ 33.
Kiteh Rosale was the only Navy player to score in double figure with 10 as the rest failed to step up in a crucial match that lasted just 62 minutes.
Sandugo also imposed its will upfront as the Lady Stags drilled in 44 attacks as against Sailors’ 26.
Sandugo-SSC thus arranged a semis clash with Ateneo while Army and Cagayan will dispute the other finals berth in a pair of best-of-three series starting today.
Army primed up for the big game with a scrambling, 22-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-16 victory over Far Eastern U in the second match with Cagayan and Ateneo closing out the elims matches at presstime.
The Troopers wound up with an 8-2 mark while the Lady Tams finished with 1-9.
The Lady Stags swept the Eagles in their two faceoffs in the elims but the first conference champions are expected to pour it all out to get back at the former and keep their bid alive for a second straight championship in the league sponsored by Shakey’s Pizza and backed by MIkasa and Accel.
In contrast, Army and Cagayan split their matches with the Troopers prevailing in five in the first round and the Rising Suns scoring a four-set victory last Tuesday, making their duel a match to watch.