San Juan – The Baguio Summer Spikers showed they can play among the big guns after coming back from a disappointing loss to Meralco last April 12 to wallop the Philippine Coast Guard Lady Dolphins in a war of attrition last Thursday, April 16, 27-25, 25-18, 21-25, 25-23, and 15-12, for their first win in the ongoing Season 12 of the Shakey’s V-League at the Fil-Oil Flying V Arena, San Juan Metro Manila.
Team Captain Cindy Benitez and Florence Mae Madulid scored 17 points a piece while Krissian Tsuchiya added 16 to led the Summer Spikers in the hear-earned, five-set win to improve their record to 1-3, keeping their slim hopes for a semi-finals slot alive and leaving their victims alone in the cellar. According to Spin.PH, the Summer Spikers converted 60 spikes and 3 aces to go along with their 8 blocks in upending the Lady Dolphins.
The Lady Dolphins started hostilities by going up 4-2 in the first set. But Baguio quickly turned the tide by 12-3 run and grabbed the upper hand, 16-9. They would hold on to the lead 20-15 and looked poised to take the set. Alas, it was not bound to happen. The Lady Dolphins blanked them while dropping a 7-0 attack to retake the lead, 22-20, and eventually put into motion the game-long see-saw battle, taking the first set.
Team Coordinator Shirley Balantac blamed their mind set for the debacle. “We have a mind set that ‘kaya (namin) to’. Gigil na gigil yung team to get the first set. (Dahil) gigil, nagging stiff yung movement kaya napako tuloy yung score namin.” she continued.
The Summer Spikers let their frustration speak on the floor at the start of second. They quickly went up 8-1 and never looked back. They coasted along the way to tie the match. They were up 10-5, 16-9, 20-14, and 22-17 at one time.
Baguio opened the third with a duplication of their second set start, going up 12-9 again. Just like the first set, the Lady Dolphins dropped another crippling counter attack, a 9-3 run this time, to grab the upper hand, 18-15. The Dolphins would maintain the lead until the 20-17 mark and settled with the 25-21 win.
With the set win in peril, the Summer Spikers again would respond. In a closely fought fourth set, they would occupy the driver’s seat throughout the set. After a 3-all start, they go up 6-5, 8-7, 8-10, 14-9, 16-10, and 18-14. A 5-1 blast by the Lady Dolphins made it more interesting, 19-all. Baguio, however, would knot the score 2 sets each with a 6-4 run and set the stage for a fifth and final set.
The Lady Dolphins seemed bent on taking the match as they grabbed a 7-6 lead while serving for a two point lead at the half. It was the Summer Spikers, however, who would score two points to go up 8-7 at the change court break. A 4-2 blast again put the Baguio Team ahead at 12-9 and in position to take the set. The Dolphins scored the next three points to Baguio’s one to inch closer 12-13 but the Summer Spikers scored next to set match point and force the Lady Dolphins to a time-out. The Summer Spikers converted in the next play to get their first win.
Balantac said they treated this match as a do or die match. “Sobrang saya kasi we have been waiting for this opportunity.” she said. She also said they were not rattled when they were down 0-1 and 1-2. They instead put three spikers in front to give a tough triple block against the Dolphins and to break their momentum.
This win eased the pain from their loss to the Meralco Power Spikers, 17-25, 8-25 and 14-25. They were were able to stick close to Meralco in the first set with the score at 16-14 Meralco still up when the Power Spikers went on a 5-3 tear to go up 21-17. After a Baguio time-out, Meralco blanked the Summer Spikers the rest of the way.
Just like in their earlier game, Meralco became unstoppable when they got to warm-up. Just like a diesel engine, they were performing at a different level once they are at running temperature. They found little trouble from Baguio the rest of the way in completing the three-set rout, 25-8 and 25-14.
Up next for the Summer Spikers are the Philippine Army Lady Troopers on Tuesday, April 21 and the Fourbees – Perpetual Help on Thursday, April 23. The Philippine Army match will be telecasted on Wednesday, April 22 while the Coast Guard match will be telecasted on Friday, April 14, both at 1:00 PM on GMA News TV.