Three-time champion RC Cola-Army made quick work of F2 Logistics, 25-21, 25-20, 25-16, yesterday in the 2016 PLDT Home Ultera Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Cup women's volleyball tournament at the FilOil FLying V Center in San Juan.
With top guns Honey Royse Tubino and Rachel Anne Daquis in deadly form, the Lady Troopers hardly met trouble in coasting to their second win in the final round of this topnotch club tourney bankrolled by Asics, Mikasa, Senoh, Mueller, Grand Sport with TV5 as official broadcast partner.
Tubino was unstoppable on the wing spot, delivering 16 kills for a total of 18 points while Daquis shrugged off a hurting right shoulder to chip in 11 markers for RC Cola-Army, which will march to their much-anticipated battle against visiting Est Cola of Thailand today oozing with confidence.
RC Cola-Army coach Kungfu Reyes didn't hide his excitement in facing the Thais, who were invited by PSL president Ramon "Tats" Suzara to give local players a chance to battle world-caliber players.
"We're done playing with local teams. Now, we're ready to face our biggest battle which is Thailand," said Reyes, the former UST star who served as deputy when the Philippines competed in the Asian U-17 Youth Girls Volleyball Championship in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand last year.
"We're quite familiar with their brand of play after facing them last year. We will use our experience to our advantage. If we can slow down the tempo, we will do it."
Est Cola is composed of members of the Thai national team B, or players who have already gained significant experience competing in major continental and world championships.
"They are young, but their youth can also be their biggest disadvantage. We will use our experience to the fullest. Our main objective is to defeat them here in front of our countrymen."
Against F2 Logistics, RC Cola-Army showed its hunger for another title.
In fact, after an intense exchange of kills in the second set, Tubino and Jovelyn Gonzaga waged an oozing rally to turn a 10-all count into a 19-12 advantage. The Cargo Movers tried to fight back, but the Lady Troopers were too strong, too smart to be denied.
RC Cola-Army ripped the game wide open and turned the third set into a light workout.
"We're hoping to reach our peak against Est Cola. This is a very important battle for us," Reyes said, adding that Daquis will surely do everything in her power to compete at a higher level.
"Hindi bale nang mamatay kesa sa mapahiya sa sariling bayan."