Troopers, Wrecking Balls lay waste to lowly opponents

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 26, 2017 03:44 PM
Troopers, Wrecking Balls lay waste to lowly opponents
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS. Army and Sta. Elena remain tied for the fourth and final playoff berth.

Sta. Elena and Philippine Army need all the wins they can get if they are to advance into the next round of the 2017 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.

The two teams stayed the course in doing so after making quick work of separate foes at the Filoil Flying V Centre, Wednesday.

The Troopers drew contributions up and down their lineup and blanked still winless Café Lupe, 25-16, 25-20, 25-17.

While no player was in double-digits and Romnick Rico was the only one to come close in doing so with nine points, all 12 offensive players saw action and all 12 offensive players contributed at least one point in the scoring column for Army.

They also dominated both ends with a massive edge in spiking, 41-22, and blocking, 10-1.

Now at 3-3, the Troopers came closer to catching up with archrival Philippine Air Force which stands solo third holding a 4-2 card. “Yung mga bata, nararamdaman ko nang gusto nilang makapasok ng semis. Kaya naman gumanda na yung mindset nila at sabi ko, samantalahin na natin ‘to,” head coach Sgt. Rico de Guzman said.

Army will close out their assignments in the elimination round against one-win Gamboa Coffee on Saturday.

That matchup looks like another must-win as also standing at 3-3 are the Wrecking Balls who put the Coffee Spikers back to sleep in straight sets, 25-19, 25-16, and 25-20.

Skipper Berlin Paglinawan showed the way with 14 points and was backstopped by Joven Camaganakan who had 10 markers under his belt.

However, it was defense that keyed the win for Sta. Elena as their 6-1 advantage in blocks proved to be more than enough to slow down their opponents’ attack.

Their floor defense wasn’t so bad either as they did not allow any opposing player to reach double-digit scoring.

Still knotted with Army for the fourth and final playoff berth, however, head coach Arnold Laniog knows full well it only gets harder from here. “Yung remaining games namin, crucial talaga. Whether or not maka-force kami ng three-way or two-way tie, ang importante lang, gawin namin yung dapat naming gawin,” he said.

The Wrecking Balls will wrap up the elimination round against still winless Café Lupe on Sunday.

Their respective losses dropped the Sunrisers to 0-6 and the Coffee Spikers to 1-5.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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