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Sta. Elena nips Army to snap two-game skid

After two disappointing losses at the hands of league powerhouses Air Force and Cignal, the Sta. Elena Wrecking Balls were able to secure a much-needed win, taking a four-setter against the Philippine Army Troopers, 25-15, 22-25, 25-21, 25-23, Sunday morning at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

“Hindi naging maganda yung resulta ng last game namin,” reflected Sta. Elena head coach Arnold Laniog. “Nagka-misunderstanding sa loob kaya sabi ko, kalimunatan na lang natin yun. Kung ano man maging resulta, kailangan mawala yung pagsisisi sa isa’t isa.”

The win boosted Sta. Elena’s record to 2-2, while Army dropped to 1-3, having lost their last two matches since stunning Air Force last Sunday.

“Nung last time na nagkita kita kami ng players, sabi ko ito na yung chance natin makabawi. Pero nahirapan kami maka-ensayo this week dahil naging busy din yung mga players namin. Sabi ko i-enjoy na lang natin yung game,” Laniog, who steered Saint Benilde to its first men’s crown last season, shared.

Saint Benilde product Isaah Arda led Sta. Elena’s demolition with 16 points, 13 coming off attacks, two from blocks, and tallying Sta. Elena’s sole ace. Berlin Paglinawan added 15 points, but more importantly, he was the calming presence that the Wrecking Balls needed in the close-out set.

“Yung last part nung nakakuha na ng momentum, nakita namin na nara-rattle na yung kalaban, kailangan na namin ituloy-tuloy. Sabi nga kanina ni Berlin kanina, manalo man o matalo, i-enjoy lang namin yung laro,” Laniog remarked about his skipper, as Sta. Elena needed to dig deep to close out the game.

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Nico Ramirez glued things together for Sta. Elena, dishing out 39 excellent sets.

Ben Labide paced Army with 16 points, while Michael Reyes added 13 markers. Army could not overcome the height off Sta. Elena, as the latter was able to score off eight blocks. The Troopers also committed 33 errors.

Sta. Elena look to sustain the momentum they gained with this win when they take on the league-leading Megabuilders Volley Bolts on Saturday, July 22, at 10:00am. Army, on the other hand, look to snap out of their skid when they take on the IEM Volley Masters on Sunday, July 23, at 10:00am.

The Scores:

Sta. Elena (3) – Arda 16, Paglinawan 15, Camaganakan 9, Orian 7, Encina 7, Basilan 3, Ramirez 2, Deximo 0, Dy (L), Almario (L).

Army (1) – Labide 16, Reyes 13, Bautista 9, Carodan 6, Medina 2, Torres 2, Tajanlangit 2, Barrica 1, Rico 1, Sumagaysay 0, Abdulmajid 0, Depamaylo 0, Uy (L), Bayking (L).

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