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Freeman Cebu Sports

SWU downs St. Louis in V-League opener

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu's pride Southwestern U came through when needed in the fifth and deciding set as it turned back a fiesty St. Louis U of  Baguio side, 25-20, 23-25, 25-15, 21-25, 19-17, to jumpstart its campaign in the Shakey's V-League Season 11-1st Conference at The Arena in San Juan City Tuesday.

Marlyn Llagoso led her team with 19 hits, including 10 on kills and eight off the block, while guest player Lutgarda Malaluan scattered 15, including her team's last two points when she blocked a spike by Krissian Tsuchiya and hit a drop shot that was left unchecked that sealed deal.

It was the Lady Cobras' first win that spurred the hopes of the reigning champion of CESAFI, Cebu’s version of the UAAP and NCAA in Metro Manila, of erasing the stigma of their forgettable performance by finishing last in their group.

It also pushed SWU a couple of wins closer from booking one of the four quarterfinal berths staked in Group A, where it is also bracketed with recently crowned UAAP titlist Ateneo, Adamson, Arellano U and St. Benilde.

"We're happy with the win considering that we have only two veterans left in the team," said SWU coach Jordan Paca in Filipino referring to Llagoso and Neresa Villanueva, who chipped in seven hits of her own while ending up with 26 excellent sets.

"I'm just glad the younger players stepped up to the challenge," he added.

The Lady Cobras drew strong efforts from the younger players Janelle Cabahug, Sheena Quino and Loida Abellana, who combined for a whopping 32 hits including key points in crucial stretches of the first and third sets they took.

Krissian Tsuchiya was firing on all cylinders as she unleashed a match-best 26 hits, including an incredible 22 kills to go with a pair of blocks and the same number of aces.— Philstar.com

But Tsuchiya faded under tremendous pressure late in the pivotal last set and was even blocked by Malalauan in a crucial play since it gave SWU the lead for good from a 17-all deadlock.

"That was a crucial play," said Paca.-Philstar.com (FREEMAN)

ARELLANO U AND ST. BENILDE BUT TSUCHIYA CEBU GROUP A JANELLE CABAHUG JORDAN PACA KRISSIAN TSUCHIYA LADY COBRAS LLAGOSO AND NERESA VILLANUEVA LUTGARDA MALALUAN MARLYN LLAGOSO
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