After being humbled by the Megabuilders Volley Bolts, the spirits of the Sta. Elena Wrecking Balls shot right back up as they made quick work of the Gamboa Coffee Spikers, 25-19, 25-16, 25-20, Tuesday morning at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
The win kept Sta. Elena in the semifinals race with an even 3-3 slate. Two seats are still up for grabs, as Air Force (4-2) will face the league-leading Megabuilders on Saturday, while Army (2-3) still have two games remaining.
“Sa amin lang, yung remaining games namin crucial talaga. Yun yung mag-di-dictate ng playoff race. Sabi ko, whether maka-force kami ng three-way or two-way tie, ang importante lang ay gawin namin yung dapat naming gawin,” said Sta. Elena head coach Arnold Laniog.
With Gamboa Coffee coming off their breakthrough win last Sunday, the Wrecking Balls quickly jumped on the Coffee Spikers to start off the contest.
“Nagpunta kami dito ng no pressure talaga, laro lang,” stated Laniog, who is also Saint Benilde’s head coach. “Sabihin natin na i-enjoy lang namin yung laro at ibigay yung best namin.”
Skipper Berlin Paglinawan paced Sta. Elena with 14 points, while Joven Camaganakan chipped in 10 markers. Moreover, the Wrecking Balls were able to impose their will on Gamboa Coffee, finishing with six blocks and five aces.
Sta. Elena have luck on their side. as their final assignment for the elimination round will be up against the listless Café Lupe Sunrisers on Sunday, July 30, at 1:00pm. Still, Laniog hopes that his team will not let their guards down entering the pivotal tilt.
“Siyempre, kailangan namin i-respect kung sino makalaban namin,” Laniog shared. “Kung matapos namin ng mabilis okay lang, basta kailangan lang namin ipanalo yun.”
Alfredo Pagulong led Gamboa Coffee with nine points, while Mark Egan added eight.
Gamboa Coffee’s last game of the season will be up against the Philippine Army on Saturday, July 29 at 1:00pm.
Sta. Elena (3) – Paglinawan 14, Camaganakan 10, Encina 8, Arda 8, Pablico 4, Orian 4, Ramirez 2, Bacani 1, Deximo 0, Dy (L).
Gamboa Coffee (0) – Pagulong 9, Egan 8, Damian 6, Santos 5, Pertierra 4, Navera 3, Bagalay 3, Hizon 0, Vargas 0, Andaya 0, Bondoc (L), Martinez (L).