And the 13th Shakey’s V-League Open Conference semifinal’s cast is complete.
Laoag needed 4 sets and solid composure down the stretch to claim the last Final Four spot over UP, 25-21, 19-25, 25-22, 26-24, Monday afternoon at the PhilSports Arena.
The Power Smashers seemed to have the easy win in the bag late in the fourth set before the Lady Maroons put up a fight and survived 4 match points, only to be denied in the end.
Diana Mae Carlos started the rally with a power hit followed by 3 consecutive blocks courtesy of team captain Kathy Bersola to make it 24-all but Adamson teammates Jessica Galanza and Mylene Paat sealed the win through consecutive attacks.
“’Yun ‘yung unang goal namin, makapasok muna sa final four,” Laoag head coach Nes Pamilar, who only has one day to prepare his wards for before the semis start, said in a post-game interview.
Jovielyn Prado was on fire with 23 points, 22 coming from attacks, while Galanza and Paat also tallied double-digit numbers with 13 and 14, respectively.
Lady Maroons’ duo Carlos and Isa Molde had 19 and 16 points, while Nicole Tiamzon contributed 11.
The Power Smashers will face top seed Philippine Air Force in the semifinals on Wednesday, with Laoag holding a slight mental edge after being the only team to beat the Jet Spikers in the elimination round. — By John Chester Fajardo