TMS-Army hands Cagayan first Super Liga Grand Prix loss


MANILA, Philippines — The Lady Rising Suns failed to duplicate their Shakey’s V-league tournament sweep after yielding to the Lady Troopers in 4 sets, 19-25, 25-14, 25-13, 25-17, at the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix held at the Arena in San Juan, Friday, November 15, 2013.

Capitalizing on the multiple errors committed by Philippine Army, the girls in Maroon were poised to get win number 2 as they showed no mercy, bombarding their opponents with their offensive prowess and commanding a big lead in the first set, 19-10.

Not to go down without a fight, Lady Trooper Michelle Carolino rallied her teammates via back-to-back spikes which brought them closer at 19-12. Cagayan Valley, though, proved to be too strong after Aiza Maizo, Jeng Kotruang and Wenneth Eulalio teamed up and unleashed hits from all angles that eventually won them the first frame.

In an interview with Army head coach Rico De Guzman after the match, he relayed that every aspect of the plays they trained for were in check in the first canto except their offense.

“Okay ang receive, okay ang set,” he said. “Nagka-problema lang kami sa atake.”

“Maaga pa lang, panay out na ang palo kaya nagka-patong patong na at nagsunod-sunod ang errors.”

But De Guzman was quick to make his adjustments as it was evidently a revitalized Army squad who showed up in the succeeding sets.

The Lady Troopers never looked back as they took the driver’s seat for the rest of the game and not once relinquished their lead.

“Sabi ko lang sa kanila, wag manggigil at wag madaliin ang opensa,” quipped De Guzman. “Yun lang talaga kulang eh.”

“Kaya nung nagawa nila, nagtuloy-tuloy na.”

Huge weight off their shoulders

Being the heavy favorites to win the tournament after being declared victors in a tournament prior to the Grand Prix, the Lady Rising Suns are suddenly in an unfamiliar territory after being outclassed by arch-rival Philippine Army.

After losing to the Lady Troopers in the semi-finals of Philippine Super Liga Invitational last summer, Cagayan successfully regrouped and exacted revenge against their tormentors by defeating Army twice in the eliminations and eventually copping the championship in the Shakey’s V-league Season 10 Open Conference.

Though a little disappointed with his wards’ performance, Cagayan head coach Ernesto “Nes” Pamilar welcomes the loss with arms wide open.

“Ang laking bawas sa pressure sa mga bata!”

“Ang daming humihiling na sweep ulit,” he said. “Ang taas ng expectations after ng V-league.”

Not one to downplay their measly output, Pamilar pointed out that most of his players had an off day in yesterday’s match.

“Off si Aiza at off din si April (Jose),” he added. “Dahil dun, nag-suffer ang depensa namin sa net at sa likod.”

Pamilar frankly stated that Army’s open spikers had a field day in using the blocking, or lack thereof, of his new setter April Jose.

“Kita mo naman, bawat palo pinadadaan kay April,” said the head coach. “Ang masama pa nun, mali yung posisyon ni Aiza sa likod kaya walang coverage.”

“Naloko na!”

Despite a relatively bad day, former UST Tigress Aiza Maizo still provided a 13-point output after uncorking 11 kills and 2 blocks for Cagayan while Thai imports Jeng Kotruang and Patcharee Saengmuang chipped in 13 and 11, respectively. 

Thai import and wing hitter Luangtonglang Wanitchaya indeed had a field day as she led Army with 23 markers off from 20 attacks, 2 blocks and 1 service ace with Mary Jean Balse and Jacq Alarca contributing identical 11 points apiece.

Both teams will face their next assignment on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig as Army duels powerhouse PLDT Speed Boosters at 2 p.m. while Cagayan tries to finally grab their 2nd win against newcomer RC Cola Raiders at 4 p.m.


Tabaquero to miss some games in PH Super Liga


MANILA, Philippines — Lady Rising Suns’ team captain Angeli “Angge” Tabaquero is expected to miss out most of Cagayan’s games in the elimination round of the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix, which will kick-off tomorrow, November 10, 2013, 1p.m. at the San Juan Arena.

Tabaquero, who recently underwent Arthroscopy to relieve the pain she has been feeling on her right shoulder, will not be seeing volleyball action for 2-3 weeks as she heals from the surgery.

According to Angge,  she incurred the tear on her shoulder way back when she was still a student-athlete at the University of Santo Tomas. 

“Ang tagal na nito! Sa UST pa,” she said. “Dinadaan lang sa tape at therapy.”

“It’s just that lately, simula nung Power Pinays sa Thailand hanggang pagbalik dito sa V-league, sobrang sakit na,” adds Angge. “Pag pumapalo ako, parang matatanggal na braso ko.”

One tough captain

After their historic 16-0 sweep at the 10th season of Shakey’s V-league, head coach Nes Pamilar and the team’s management decided that it’s time for the captain to get a permanent fix for the injury.

Pamilar relates that the operation could have been done earlier but Tabaquero insisted on finishing their V-league campaign first.

“Tiniis niya yung sakit, tinapos niya yung tournament,” he said. “Kahit masakit, trinabaho niya talaga at di niya kami iniwan.”

“Ngayon, pina-opera na natin kasi long-term na ang tinitignan natin,” Pamilar quips. “After 2 to 3 weeks, mas maganda pang performance makikita natin galing sa kanya.”


Angge also relates that even before finding out the success rate of Plasma Rich Protein (PRP) treatment, she was already sold on the idea of going under the knife.

“Naba-bother na kasi ako.”

“Hindi naman pwedeng titiisin ko na lang siya,” she added. “I want to give my 100% eh. So maka-miss man ako ng ilang games, pagbalik ko naman, tutulong ako.”

“Pagbalik ko, I believe I can do even better.”

Still a strong team

With the absence of Tabaquero, the Rising Suns will be missing her powerful spikes, libero-like defense and leadership inside the court.

Despite this, Cagayan’s head coach believes that he and his wards can still give the other 5 squads a good fight.

For Pamilar, teamwork is still his team’s biggest weapon.

“Kahit naman nung V-league, madami na akong players na injured.”

“Ang maganda sa mga bata, nagtutulungan sila,” said Pamilar. “Nagse-step-up pag alam nilang kailangan sila ng team.”

“Mas malalakas makaka-laban namin dito dahil lahat may imports,” he adds. “Pero gaya lang ng dati, paghahandaan at paghihirapan natin.”

On her part, Cagayan’s team captain promises to lead the team to victory in her own little ways.

“I’ll be there every game, on the sidelines nga lang,” quipped Angge. “But regardless, andun ako to guide and support them.”

She admits that the competition in the Philippine Super Liga will be a lot stiffer but they will stay focused and train even harder to keep the momentum.

“Oo, mas matindi ang laban ngayon dahil na rin sa magagaling na imports,” said Tabaquero. “But business as usual, we prepare, we give our best and just hope and pray for the best.”

“Puso na lang! Kaya ng Cagayan yan!”