MJ Philips stars as Sta. Lucia earn first win at Cherrylume’s expense

Filipino-American newcomer MJ Philips dropped a conference-high 25 points en route to leading the Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors to their first win of the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Cup at the expense of the Cherrylume Iron Lady Warriors, 25-20, 21-25, 25-17, 25-16, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Realtors were unstoppable after dropping the second set to the hapless Cherrylume. With Djanel Cheng taking over setting duties for Fil-Am Rebecca Rivera, the Lady Realtors’ offense hummed as Cherrylume’s wavered. Sta Lucia took a 20-13 lead in the third set then carried an 11-6 lead in the fourth frame all the way to the win.

University of Santo Tomas standout Pam Lastimosa backed Philips with 13 points, while former Saint Benilde Lady Blazer Janine Navrro added nine.

“We needed to win today. I told my players that we can’t keep losing if we want to achieve our goal of reaching the semis,” said Sta. Lucia head coach Sammy Acaylar. “We had to start today and I’m happy that the team showed their effort.”

Lumped with F2 Logistics (1-2), Cherrylume (0-4), and Cocolife (1-2) in Group D, the Lady Realtors salvaged a 1-3 record.

Open hitter Mary Ann Mendrez tallied 18 points but was the only Iron Lady Warrior in double-digits.

The Scores

Sta. Lucia (3) – Philips 25, Lastimosa 13, Navarro 9, Gendrauli 9, Salamagos 5, Rivera 4, Cheng 3, Clemente 2, Sante 0, Sabete 0, Rivera (L)

Cherrylume (1) – Mendrez 18, Abil 6, Sta. Maria 6, Gabrada 4, Rodriguez 4, Bendong 3, Lopez 2, Santos 1, Victoria 1, Catindig (L)

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