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Sports

SSC, Navy seek repeat vs Air Force, Maynilad

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MANILA, Philippines - San Sebastian kicks off its quarterfinal campaign against Air Force today even as Navy tries to rebound from a loss as it faces Maynilad in the Shakey’s V-League Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan.

The Lady Stags swept the Airwomen in three in the opening of the league’s season-ending conference last July 31 and went on to top the elims with the Army side, which it toppled at the close of the qualifiers last week.

Gametime is at 2 p.m.

The Lady Sailors, on the other hand, hope to recover from a three-set setback to the Lady Troopers at the start of the quarters last Sunday as it tangles with the Water Dragons in the 4 p.m. main game.

Maynilad, with Joy Cases on the firing end, took the last quarters seat by beating the Perpetual Help Altas in a playoff, also last Sunday, with the Water Dragons hopeful of their chances to get back at the Sailors, who beat them in three last Aug. 16.

Cases, who rammed in 11 kills and wound up with 12 points to clinch the best player of game honors, vowed the Water Dragons will get better in the single round quarters stage.

The lone commercial team in the tournament turned in a creditable performance against Perpetual under a new coach in Joseph Santos, who drew solid games from the combination of Cases, Syvie Artates, Nica Guliman, Beverly Boto, Melissa Mirasol, Charisse Ancheta and Mervic Mangui to advance.

But against Navy, Maynilad will be facing a team boasting of two former MVPs in Nene Bautista and Suzanne Roces plus a solid backup composed of Michelle Laborte, Cecile Cruzada, Rose Prochina and Johanna Carpio, ensuring another action-packed match that has been the norm in the league sponsored by Shakey’s Pizza.

The SSC-Air Force duel is also expected to be fierce with the Lady Stags out to fan their drive at a first-ever crown in the tournament backed by Accel, Mikasa and Maynilad Water and organized by Sports Vision.

SSC, which lost to Navy in the elims, will be led anew by the league’s top spiker and blocker Lauren Ford and a dependable crew that includes Thai import Jang Baulee, Joy Benito, Rubie de Leon, Janet Doria and Jill Gustilo and the league’s leading receiver Mary Jane Pepito.

But Air Force, despite its 3-3 record in the elims, remains a force to reckon with in the league with former MVP Aiza Maizo tipped to lead the team’s bid along with Cherry Vivas, Wendy Semana, Jennifer Manzano, Liza Deramos and Amelia Guanco.

Army, meanwhile, took the early lead in the quarters as it stopped Navy, 25-20, 25-20, 26-24, last Sunday with Michelle Carolino and Rachel Ann Daquis combining for 30 hits and Mary Jean Balse, Joanne Buñag and Marietta Carolino pooling 26 points.

AIR FORCE

AIZA MAIZO

BEVERLY BOTO

BUT AIR FORCE

CECILE CRUZADA

CHARISSE ANCHETA AND MERVIC MANGUI

CHERRY VIVAS

JANET DORIA AND JILL GUSTILO

JANG BAULEE

LADY STAGS

MAYNILAD

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