Meralco was one set away from grabbing its first win, before a major meltdown in the end caused what could have been a breakthrough to fall off.
RC Cola-Air Force came back from the dead and dealt the Power Spikers their third straight defeat in a thrilling five-setter, 25-20, 17-25, 20-25, 25-21, 15-13, on Thursday, in the 2015 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at the San Juan Arena.
The Raiders’ Puerto Rican import Lynda Morales was sensational on her debut, scoring 26 points on 19 kills and seven blocks. American reinforcement Sara McClinton also had 16 of her 20 points from kills to tow RC Cola to its first win of the tourney.
With Meralco leading two sets-to-one, RC Cola fought back in the fourth set, taking a 9-3 and 17-11 lead, eventually taking the set to force a deciding fifth set.
The fresh Raiders seized the momentum in the fifth behind Morales and Ortiz to grab an 11-6 lead. But Cha Cruz and import Liis Kullerkann helped Meralco tie the match at 12.
Morales then overpowered three Meralco blockers to put RC Cola at matchpoint, before Cha Cruz sent her spike at the net to end the match.
“Marami pa siguro kaming dapat i-adjust sa mga susunod na laro,” said RC Cola coach Rhovyl Verayo.
“Nawalan kami nung receive dun sa second and third sets. Dun sa latter part ng game, nape-pressure yung bata kaya nawawalan ng receive at marami kaming errors.”
RC Cola only had 24 excellent digs, against Meralco’s 42, an improvement for the Power Spikers’ shaky reception in their first two games, but that wasn’t enough as the first win for the girls of coach Ramil de Jesus remained elusive.
Kullerkann led Meralco with 18 points, Mika Reyes added 15, while Cruz finished with 11.