By Kristel Satumbaga
Pacifictown Army, drawing strength from Jovelyn Gonzaga, edged BanKo Perlas in a gripping match, 18-25, 25-16, 20-25, 25-15, 15-13 yesterday to clinch third place in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The finish was a fitting consolation for an Army team that has made its comeback after years-long absence.
Overall, the Lady Troopers now have three third-place finishes to add to two titles and four runner-up efforts in the Shakey’s V-League, the PVL’s predecessor.
Army needed to fight back after losing the opener, 27-25, 25-10, 25-27, 24-26, 14-16, Wednesday before claiming the last two games, including a 25-23, 20-25, 25-20, 25-23 triumph in Game 2 Saturday.
Gonzaga took charge in the fifth set as she willed the Lady Troopers back from a 4-8 deficit with crucial hits including the match-sealing ace.
The veteran spiker contributed only nine points, but all came in the crucial moments. She also had 20 digs.
Ukrainian import Olena Lymareva-Flink erupted for 32 points for Army built on 29 kills and two aces, while Jenelle Jordan and Royse Tubino chippd in 19 and 12 points.
Alina Bicar also made the difference with 34 excellent sets.
The Perlas Spikers wound up fourth, ending their run of three straight third place finishes, despite Nicole Tiamzon and Sutadta Chuewlim scoring 22 and 16 points.