Two of the best players from the islands of Tawi-Tawi powered the Air Force Jet Spikers in overwhelming military rivals Army Troopers 25-22, 25-20, 27-25 in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Current National University Bulldog Fauzi Ismail and veteran Ranran Abdilla took turns pounding on the Army defense. Ismail tallied a game-high 18 points on a scorching 16-for-30 spiking clip while Abdilla followed closely with 17 markers which includes two blocks and two aces.
“Siyempre malaki talaga ang tiwala namin sa kanila as coaches kasi sila talaga ang mataas ang pursiyentp sa amin sa paluan,” said Air Force head coach Rhovyl Verayo.
“Pero as a team maganda ang nilaro namin. Sana magtuloy-tuloy ‘yung ganitong chemistry namin,” the multi-titled mentor furthered.
Air Force built leads early in each set but only faced great resistance in the third set when Army punished them on the serve. The Troppers erased a three-point Air Force lead and forced a deuce. The Jet Spikers, however, had one more finishing push in them, getting a hit from Ismail then a block from Jeffrey Malabanan to end the match.
The Jet Spikers improved to a 2-1 record. They take on the Cignal HD Spikers (3-0) on May 20.
UST standout Romnick Rico led Army with 12 points while Anthony Arbasto added eight markers.
The Troopers fell to an even 2-2 slate. They play their final elimination round match on May 25 against the Sta. Elena Wrecking Balls (2-1).
Air Force (3) – Ismail 18, Abdilla 17, Jeruz 7, Malabanan 7, Dela Calzada 3, Tolentino 2, De Ocampo 0, Dimaculangan 0, Lopez 0, Chavez (L)
Army (0) – Rico 12, Arbasto 8, Depamaylo J. 6, Tajanlangit 5, Sumagaysay 4, Torres 4, Delos Reyes 2, Abdulmajid 1, Labide 1, Reyes 1, Depamaylo N. 0, Bayking (L), Uy (L)