MANILA, Philippines – RC Cola-Army breezed through a listless Cignal side, 25-16, 25-9, 25-23, to conclude its elimination round campaign of the 2016 Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix on a winning note Thursday at the Arena in San Juan.
Team captain Jovelyn Gonzaga was the spark for the Lady Troopers, who concluded the preliminaries with a 4-6 record. They will move on to face Generika in a knockout duel on Sunday, while Cignal settled for the sixth seed and will take on powerhouse F2 Logistics.
The winners will advance to the semifinals, where Foton and Petron are waiting. The Final 4 of the Grand Prix is set for December 3 at the Ibalong Centrum for Recreation in Legazpi City.
Gonzaga had 17 points on 15 kills and two aces, while Honey Royse Tubino contributed 10 markers for the Lady Troopers.
RC Cola-Army still failed to draw strong games from their imports, as Kierra Holst only scored five points, and Hailey Ripley had four markers.
"If our imports couldn't carry us, then we would be the one to carry them," said RC Cola-Army coach Kungfu Reyes.
"This victory means that we are also capable of winning. However, it's not yet showing up. Hopefully, we peak very soon. We still have one more week to prepare," he said.
Reyes admits that despite the comfortable win over the HD Spikers, the Lady Troopers are still struggling to find their rhythm.
"Our main problem is that we still can't find our rhythm. We have to work hard, because other teams are already reaching their peak," he explained.
For the most part, Army had little trouble against a Cignal team that was playing without prized import Lynda Morales, who is out for the season due to injury.
In the third set, however, the HD Spikers raced to a 10-8 start behind the powerful kills of Janine Marciano, Paneng Mercado, and Laura Schaudt.
The Lady Troopers were quick to recover, taking a 23-21 lead off Rachel Anne Daquis and another kill by Gonzaga. Marciano pulled Cignal closer with a kill from the open position, but then committed a service error in the ensuing rally to put Army at match point.
Marciano and Schaudt had seven points each to lead the HD Spikers, who had a promising start to the tournament before succumbing to injuries.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.