Reinforced Conference runners-up Philippine Air Force Jet Spikers gave the debuting Gamboa Coffee Spikers a rude welcome to the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference as the former handed the latter a straight-set whipping, 25-19, 25-10, 28-26, Saturday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Air Force, now missing the services of their usual civilian reinforcements from the National University Bulldogs, relied on a balanced showing from their veterans to put away the Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals-flavored Gamboa Coffee.
Edwin Tolentino and Niño Jeruz each tallied 12 points, while National Team mainstay Ranran Abdilla and lefty Jeffrey Malabanan each 11 points to power Air Force.
“Lagi namang ready ‘yung mga beterano namin sa bench. Kahit noong hindi sila masyadong nakakalaro, kundisyon pa rin ‘yan. Ngayong mas kailangan namin sila, kampante kami na makakagawa sila,” said Air Force assistant coach Dante Alinsunurin.
The Jet Spikers are gunning to defend their Open Conference championship after losing their Reinforced Conference crown to rivals Cignal HD Spikers earlier this month.
Mark Jason Egan led the Coffee Spikers with 10 points, while NCAA Season 92 Rookie of the Year Alfred Pagulong added eight markers.
Air Force will next face the Sta. Elena Wrecking Balls on Wednesday, July 5, at 1:00pm. Gamboa Coffee, on the other hand, will have a week-long break before taking on fellow-newcomers Megabuilders Volley Bolt on Saturday, July 9, at 10:00am.
Air Force (3) – Jeruz 12, Tolentino 12, Abdilla 11, Malabanan 11, Labrador 4, Lopez 3, Avila 0, Marmeto (L)
Gamboa Coffee (0) – Egan 10, Pagulong 8, Pertirrra 7, Damian 3, Navera 3, Andaya 2, Bagalay 2, Evangelista 1, Santos 1, Hizon 0, Martinez 0, Bondoc (L), Canlas (L)