After absorbing their first taste of defeat 16 days ago against IEM, the Sta. Elena Wrecking Balls vented their ire on the Philippine Army Troopers in straight sets, 25-17, 25-19, 25-21, Saturday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
“Although alam na namin yung timpla ng mag-co-connect sa court, ang hirap gumawa ng team pag iba-iba yung mindset. Nung IEM game, gusto namin mapaganda yung galaw pero nag-iba-iba ng way,” Sta. Elena head coach Arnold Laniog reflected.
The bounce back victory kept the Wrecking Balls on pace with the Cignal HD Spikers at 3-1 in the 2017 Premier Volleyball Leage Men’s Division. Army, on the other hand, extended their skid to three games, falling to 3-2.
Skipper Berlin Paglinawan paced Sta. Elena with 13 markers, 12 coming from attacks, while having 12 excellent receptions. Ace Mandani chipped in 11 points. But it was the on-point blocks and services of the Wrecking Balls that proved to be the difference for the victors.
“Nag-focus kami sa serve at sa block. Kanina gumana. Pag walang serve yung kalaban, nahuhuli namin sa block,” Laniog added, as Sta. Elena had 10 kill blocks in the game, compared to just four for Army, and limited their errors to just 16.
Israel Encina and Kurl Rosete had 10 points each, while National Team pool member Geuel Asia had 30 excellent sets.
“Yun yung lagi kong ine-emphasize sa training, kahit maganda yung galaw sa practice, madadala ba nila sa court ‘yun. Pumunta tayo rito at may sponsor tayo, kailangan natin maibalik yung kabutihan na binibigay nila,” declared Laniog, who recently steered the Saint Benilde men’s team to their first NCAA crown. “Kailangan in-line tayong lahat para manalo.”
Lemuel Arbasto and Benjaylo Labide scored 10 points each for Army, a team that committed 18 errors in the contest.
With Sta. Elena facing Cignal in the final elimination round game of the conference on Tuesday, May 30, at 12:00nn, Laniog hopes that his players bring their A-game for the tilt.
“Tie kami ng Cignal ngayon. Aside from ranking, battle of pride ito. Sa amin, as along as makita namin na pumukpok sila, walang problema sa amin,” he concluded.
Sta. Elena (75) – Paglinawan 13, Mandani 11, Encina 10, Rosete 10, Camposano 7, Asia 3, Enciso 3, Deximo 0, Almario (L), Mendiola (L), Opp Error 18.
Army (57) – Arbasto 10, Labide 10, Rico 7, Reyes 4, Torres 4, Sumagaysay 3, Baloaloa 1, Depamaylo 1, Delos Reyes 1, Tajanlangit 0, Abdulmajid 0, Uy (L), Bayking (L), Opp Error 16.