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Standard Insurance-Navy put a nice finish to its roller-coaster campaign as it crushed Amy’s, 25-13, 25-17, 19-25, 25-9 to cop the 7th place of the 2016 Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference women’s volleyball tournament yesterday at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.
After a strong start, the Corvettes took its sweet time in the third set before going for the kill to finish their campaign in this prestigious club tourney bankrolled by KLab Cyscorpions, Mikasa, Mueller and Asics on a sizzling note.
Veteran Pau Soriano led the charge while Hezzymie Acuña and Carissa Martinez provided support offensively to power Standard Insurance-Navy to their fourth win of the conference and avoid finishing dead last in their first ever stint in this premier semi-professional league.
Generika and Cignal are still figuring in a sudden-death match as of press time to determine which will take the 5th place trophy. On the other hand, RC Cola-Army and reigning champion Petron will slug it out on Thursday for the consolation 3rdplace while Foton and F2 Logistics will dispute in Game 1 of their best-of-three finals showdown.
Soriano, the former Adamson University star, mocked the Spikers’ defense all game long as she tallied 15 kills and two aces to finish with 18 points while Martinez and Acuña delivered 10 hits, respectively.
Lilet Mabbayad was also impressive defensively, delivering three of her nine points from blocks.
“Our initial target was to make it to the top 4,” said Standard Insurance-Navy coach Nene Chavez. “Although we failed to hit our target, I am still happy and proud of my team because we gained maturity and confidence to face the best volleyball players in the country. Who knows, maybe things would be better next conference.”
Chavez, a proud member of the team that clinched the gold medal in the Singapore Southeast Asian Games in 1993, added that her team discovered its groove in the classification phase as it won a pair of games over Cignal and Amy’s.
“We started to play well in the second round,” she said. “But it’s okay. I told the team that the important thing is that we learned something and we enjoyed every single game.”
Powered by Soriano, the Corvettes appeared invincible in the first two sets as the young Spikers from University of Perpetual Help struggled with errors and lethargic defense.
Things, however, went wrong in the third set when Chavez pulled out her veterans in favor of the young guns.
“I wanted to give them experience,” she said. “But we paid dearly for that experiment as Amy’s gained confidence after seeing that the veterans were resting.”
It was all Standard Insurance-Navy in the fourth set as it raced to a 16-6 lead entering the second technical timeout. A couple of unforced errors gave the Spikers some extra points, 9-23, but Mabbayad scored on a block while Soriano delivered an ace to seal the victory.
Lourdes Clemente and Jowie Verzosa finished with 11 and 10 markers, respectively, for Amy’s, which is expected to carry the valuable lessons it gained to the nextw season of NCAA women’s volleyball tournament.