Wrecking Balls secure semis spot

Mark Escarlote on May 27, 2017 03:42 PM
Wrecking Balls secure semis spot
Sta. Elena marched into the semifinals with an easy sweep of Army.

Sta. Elena clinched the third semifinals berth as the Wrecking Balls destroyed Philippine Army, 25-17, 25-19, 25-21, Saturday in the men's division of the inaugural Premier Volleyball League at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

The Wrecking Balls returned in the win column for a 3-1 win-loss record tied with idle Cignal, who they joined in the best-of-three semifinals together with Philippine Air Force (4-1).

Sta. Elena came off a loss at the hands of Instituto Estetico Manila more than two weeks ago.

"Although alam na namin yung timpla ng magko-connect sa court, ang hirap gumawa ng team kapag iba-iba 'yung mindset. Nu'ng IEM game, gusto namin mapaganda 'yung galaw pero nag-iba-iba ng way," recalled Wrecking Balls coach Arnold Laniog.

"'Yun 'yung lagi kong ine-emphasize sa training, kahit maganda 'yung galaw sa practice, madadala ba nila sa court 'yun? Pumunta tayo rito at may sponsor tayo, kailangan natin maibalik yung kabutihan na binibigay nila. Kailangan in-line tayong lahat para manalo," he added.

Berlin Paglinawan led the Wrecking Balls with 13 points with all but one coming off attacks while Ace Mandani had 11. Israel Encina and Kurt Rosete each scored 10 points for Sta. Elena, which rained down 43 kills, 10 kill blocks and four aces.

"Nag-focus kami sa serve at sa block. Kanina gumana," said Laniog. "Pag walang serve yung kalaban, nahuhuli namin sa block."

The Wrecking Balls will take on the HD Spikers on Tuesday at the close of the elimination round in a battle that will determine their seedings in the semis.

"Tie kami ng Cignal ngayon. Aside from ranking, battle of pride ito," said Laniog. "Sa amin, as along as makita namin na pumukpok sila, walang problema sa amin."

Army dropped to 2-3 slate tied with IEM.  The two squads will face off in a sudden death on Thursday for the last semis seat.

Skipper Benjaylo Labide and Lemuel Arbasto scored 10 apiece for the Troopers.

Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles

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