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Air Force outlasts Sta. Elena to go to 2-0


Ranran Abdilla and the Philippine Air Force Jet Spikers outlasted the Sta. Elena Construction Wrecking Balls in five sets, 23-25, 25-20, 25-19, 21-25, 15-10, Wednesday afternoon in the Filoil Flying V Centre for their second straight win in the Open Conference.

Reinforced Conference MVP Abdilla scored a whopping 24 points, 21 of which came from attacks, two from aces, and a kill block. Edwin Tolentino supported with 18 points.

Sta. Elena bagged the first set but the Jet Spikers regained their composure and started their rampage in the next two sets. Air Force almost finished the match in the fourth set as they came within two, 21-23, but Sta. Elena’s Israel Encina took advantage of Edwin Tolentino’s lackluster reception twice in a row, first with a spike and next with a power serve.

“Natalo kami sa receive eh. May di maiiwasang error, dahil sa misreceive natalo kami. Normal yun eh,” new Air Force head coach Clarence Esteban said.

Sta. Elena forced a fifth set. But come the final frame, the Jet Spikers dominated early, 5-1, and never looked back. Abdilla, Rodolfo Labrador, Niño Jeruz all contributed to finally finish the set and the match, 15-10.

It was a hard-earned win for the Jet Spikers as they boasted an almost full military line-up.

“Yung team namin is composed talaga ng nasa military team. Preparation na rin namin para sa mga susunod na liga namin, naka ready na rin yung team namin,” Esteban remarked. “Kung titignan, maganda yung nilalaro namin pero at the same time maganda nilalaro ng kalaban, kaniya kaniyang swerte na lang.”

The Wrecking Balls’ team captain Berlin Paglinawin and Erwin Encina both scored 18 points each.

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Sta. Elena’s next game will be on July 8 versus Cignal, while the Air Force take on rivals Army on July 9, all in the Filoil Flying V Centre. – By: Danine Cruz

The Scores:

Air Force (3) – Abdilla 24, Tolentino 18, Malabanan 13, Jeruz 13, Labrador 11, Inaudito 4, Avila 1, Tolentino 1, Abria 0, Chavez (L), Marmeto (L).

Sta. Elena (2) – Encina 18, Paglinawan 18, Arda 11, Camaganakan 8, Basilan 7, Ramirez 5, Pablico 3, Deximo 0, Almario (L), Dy (L).

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