MANILA, Philippines Army drew strength from an unlikely source as it turned back a stubborn Meralco side, 25-21, 21-25, 19-25, 15-9, Thursday to move a step closer to a finals return in the Shakey’s V-League Season 12-Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan City.
Jovelyn Gonzaga fired a team-best 15 hits while Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Rachel Ann Daquis, Honey Royse Tubino and Mary Jean Balse contributed 13, 12, 11 and 10 points, respectively.
It was, however, Aganon who scored the most crucial points as the former National University standout churned out all her six hits in critical stretches of the final two sets when the Lady Troopers turned a one-to-two set deficit into a victory.
“The good thing about this team is that any player, if called upon, is ready to play and contribute,” said Army coach Rico de Guzman in Filipino.
The troika of Cha Cruz, Aby Marano and Maica Morada went on attack mode early and finished with 17, 16 and 11, the bulk of which came in the first three sets when the Power Spikers seized the lead, two sets to one.
But Meralco lost steam as Army dag deep into its bench and got significant contributions from the power-hitting Aganon.
Army hopes to put one foot to the best-of-three finals starting May 21 if it could beat PLDT Home Ultera on Saturday or Cagayan Valley on Tuesday.