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RC Cola blows 2-set lead but takes decider

RC Cola-Army recovered from a two-set meltdown as it outplayed a resurgent Petron, 25-18, 25-23, 21-25, 19-25, 15-11, yesterday to settle for third place in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference at The Arena in San Juan City.

The Lady Troopers rallied from a quick 8-2 lead in the deciding fifth set and held on to their momentum to finish their campaign on a bright note.

Jovelyn Gonzaga fired 22 points built on 17 attacks and five blocks for RC Cola, which finally recovered from a five-game losing skid dating back the first preliminary round after being plagued with injuries.

Despite failing to duplicate their previous championship feats, the multi-titled Lady Troopers are still proud of what they had achieved given their circumstances.

“Nilaban talaga namin yung composure at pride namin hanggang sa huli,” said Gonzaga.

RC Cola-Army, which lost to Foton for a spot in the finals, also relied on Royse Tubino’s 15-point performance, as well as Nene Bautista and Jessey De Leon, who chipped in 10 points each.

They outplayed Petron’s main players that include Bernadeth Pons, who topscored with 17 points, and Aiza Pontillas and Ces Molina, who had 12 and 11 points, respectively.

“At least natapos kami nang maayos. Nag-e-evolve na yung volleyball eh, kaya kailangan pagbutihin namin in the future,” said RC Cola Coach Kungfu Reyes.

The Lady Troopers could have closed the match in the third set but the Tri-Activ Spikers pulled away from a 19-all tie en route to the set win.

It took RC Cola some time to adjust as it fell into a maze of errors in the fourth frame before regaining its composure in the fifth.