NO SWEEP: Jet Spikers pounce on error-prone Volley Bolt

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 29, 2017 03:28 PM
NO SWEEP: Jet Spikers pounce on error-prone Volley Bolt
FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING.

Mega Builders had been an unsolvable riddle through the first six games in the 2017 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.

Someone finally had the answer for them on Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Behind the match-long brilliance of Nino Jeruz and Edwin Tolentino, Philippine Air Force shot down the erstwhile undefeated Volley Bolt in a five-set thriller, 25-18, 25-20, 23-25, 26-28, and 15-12.

Tolentino fired 20 points, all but four from spikes, while Jeruz contributed 19 markers of his own, seven coming from the service line as the Jet Spikers dealt the Mega Builders their very first defeat.

In all, Air Force made a living from the service line and registered a crucial 13-3 advantage in aces.

However, the now 6-1 Volley Bolt also didn’t do themselves any favors in committing a whopping 41 errors.

Howard Mojica and Jeffrey Malabanan also chipped in 14 and 13 points, respectively, for the now 5-2 Jet Spikers who have assured themselves of a slot in the semifinals. Also, they still have a shot at the second-seed depending on what happens in the last assignment of also 5-1 Cignal.

On the other hand, Mega Builders clearly missed the steadying presence of top hitter Bryan Bagunas who is currently fulfilling national team duties.

In his stead, Francis Saura showed the way with 20 points. Unable to overcome their errors, however, they suffered their first and only setback in the elimination round.

Meanwhile, Philippine Army clinched at least a playoff for a semifinals spot after blanking hapless Gamboa Coffee, 25-21, 25-18, and 25-19.

Jayvee Sumagaysay was the only one in double-digits with 11 points, but five other Troopers also contributed at least six points in the scoring column.

Frustrating their opponents to the tune of a 10-2 edge in blocks, Army improved to 4-3 and put the pressure on 3-3 Sta. Elena. The two teams are fighting over the fourth and final playoff berth.

For the Coffee Spikers, Alfredo Pagulong topped the scoring column with 11 points. They wind up their maiden campaign with a 1-6 record.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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