By ADRIAN STEWART CO
The Negros ICC Blue Hawks secured the top spot in the Maharlika Pilipinas Volleyball Association (MPVA) league after a 22-25, 25-20, 25-14, 25-22 victory over the Bacoor City Strikers Metro Land Builders Corp. at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Angel Mae Habacon spearheaded the offense with 22 points. Ma. Audrei Pagayanan contributed 13 markers, while Andrea Caparal ended up with 10 markers for the Blue Hawks.
With their seventh consecutive victory, the Edgar Barroga-mentored Blue Hawks solidified their hold of the top spot in the standings heading into the quarterfinals with an 8-1 win-loss slate.
Pagayanan, who was named Player of the Game, said they had a lengthy preparation for the game as they want to get back to Bacoor City, the only team that defeated them so far.
“Pinaghandaan po talaga namin ang game na ito kasi Bacoor City lang ‘yung team na tumalo sa amin sa first round of the eliminations,” Pagayanan said in a post-game interview.
“Mas naging confident kami inside the court, kasi bawa’t galaw talaga ng Bacoor City ay pinag-aralan namin,” she said.
“Masaya lang at nakabawi kami sa Bacoor City in this game,” she added.
Shaila Omipon top-scored with 14 points. Charmaine Ocado added 10 markers, while reigning NCAA MVP Mary Rhose Dapol was held to eight points after suffering an injury in the second quarter.
Bacoor dropped to 6-3.
The Blue Hawks will aim to continue their winning streak as they battle the Biñan Tatak Gel – I Am Worldwide squad on Thursday, November 30, while the Strikers are set to square off against the Marikina Lady Shoemasters on the same day.
Meanwhile, the Rizal XentroMall Golden Coolers vented their ire at the Nasipit Lady Spikers Agusan del Norte with a 25-22, 25-21, 27-25 straight set victory.
Johna Dolorito was adjudged as Player of the Game after finishing with nine points, on six attacks and three blocks, as the Golden Coolers secured their eighth victory in 10 matches.
Negrense Joan Doguna and Janeth Tulang spearheaded the offense with 12 points apiece for the Golden Coolers, which bounced back from a stunning 21-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-16, and 15-11 loss to the San Juan Lady Knights Go For Gold on November 23./ASC, WDJ