MANILA, Philippines - Sandugo-San Sebastian tries to wrap it all up with another victory over Cagayan Valley-Perpetual Help in Game Two of the Shakey's V-League Open finals tonight in what promises to be another fierce battle of power, defense and stamina at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
The Lady Stags battled back from a set down twice then outlasted the Rising Suns in the decider to essay an 18-25, 29-27, 14-25, 25-13, 15-7 thriller in the opener of their best-of-three title series last Sunday. But Sandugo-SSC coach Roger Gorayeb stressed the need to keep their focus to complete a sweep and annex their first crown as a club team.
Gametime is at 6 p.m.
Ateneo also tries to close out its series for third with Army at 4 p.m. with the Eagles out to duplicate their scrambling 25-21, 19-25, 22-25, 25-18, 15-13 victory in Game One.
"We lost our concentration in the first game. We need to focus and not be distracted and get too excited," said Gorayeb, referring to his wards shaky performance that enabled the Rising Suns to control the tempo only to lose steam in the end.
Gorayeb, seeking a rare two-title romp with different teams in a season, also cautioned his troops not to take their rivals for granted after sweeping them in the double-round elims and then making it three-in-row the other day.
"We should not think that if we won against them before we could beat them again easily. Cagayan made it to the finals because they are playing as a team. We need to play as a team to win," said Gorayeb, who piloted Ateneo to the first conference crown against the comebacking UST last summer.
He added that defense, particularly blocking, will be the key in the title series of the mid-season conference of the league sponsored by Shakey's Pizza.
But the Lady Stags proved power and teamwork are what makes a champion team with Thai imports Jeng Bualee and Utaiwan Kaensing spearheading Sandugo's attack with 40 kills for a team total of 65 against Cagayan's 52.
The Rising Suns, who like the Sandugo side are seeking their first crown on their very first try in the league organized by Sports Vision and backed by Mikasa and Accel, out-blocked their fancied rivals, 9-7, and had more service aces, 9-7, but just couldn't sustain their pace when it mattered most in the decider.