With reinforcements from current members of UAAP powerhouse National University Bulldogs, the Philippine Air Force Airmen overwhelmed the IEM Phoenix Volley Masters in three sets, 25-23, 25-22, 25-20, in the Premier Volleyball League Men’s tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
After a straight-sets loss to the Sta. Elena Wrecing Balls in their first outing, Air Force head coach Rhovyl Verayo welcomed the addition of the young Bulldogs in today’s match, although he also acknowledged the need to develop better chemistry.
“Siyempre malaking tulong ‘yung mga bata since nasa training nga ‘yung ibang tropa. Siguro may mya error lang tulad sa receive at atake na kailangan pa namin maayos pati na rin ‘yung chemistry kasi nga may nga bago,” Verayo told the Tiebreaker Times.
Veteran Ranran Abdilla continued his incendiary in his first season back from a knee injury, scoring a team-high 13 points off 10 attacks and three aces. Former NU ace Edwin Tolentino added 10 markers, while current Bulldogs Fauzi Ismail and Kim Malabunga managed eight points apiece.
Although each set became a close affair in the latter parts, Air Force controlled the match throughout and led most of the way. The Jet Spikers tallied eight blocks and six aces that thoroughly controlled the tempo of the match.
The Jet Spikers evened their record at 1-1. They will try for their second win against the Army Troopers (2-0) on May 18 at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
FEU standout Greg Dolor again towed IEM with 18 points.
The Volley Masters succumbed to a 1-3 slate. They play their final elimination round match against Café Lupe (0-3) on May 23.
Air Force (3) – Abdilla 13, Tolentino 10, Ismail 8, Malabunga 8, Bagunas 7, Malabanan 7, Lopez 1, De Ocampo 0, Dimaculangan 0, Chavez (L)
IEM (0) – Dolor 18, Valenzuela 11, Gatdula 6, Arroyo 3, Guanzon 3, Gatdula B. 2, Ordoñez 1, Presnede 1, Cerilles 0, Timbal 0, Melgar (L)