The up-and-coming Vice Co. Blockbusters scored their biggest win of the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference, surviving the Philippine Air Force Jet Spikers and a 40-point explosion from Fauzi Ismail, 25-22, 32-34, 19-25, 30-28, 16-14, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Vice Co. officially booked an outright spot in the semifinals, sporting an identical 4-1 record with Cignal HD.
While Air Force sported a major advantage in experience and firepower, their wastefulness on offense did them in again. The Jet Spikers had the two top scorers of the match in Ismail and Ranran Abdilla, who poured in 25 markers, but threw away 39 errors to Vice Co.’s 22.
The Blockbusters took full advantage of Air Force’s spotty play in the fourth set, riding out strong Jet Spikers runs in a heated deuce. The Blockbusters eventually ended the set thanks to quick transition plays.
Air Force sported 13-10 lead in the decider, before squandering the next four points. Locked in a deuce again, Vice Co. capped the match with back-to-back roofs on Abdilla.
“Very happy kami kasi ang ganda ng resulta para sa team. Kailangan namin ngayon makahanap ng paraan para magtuloy-tuloy lang kami,” said Vice Co. head coach Rey Diaz.
Jude Garcia topped the Blockbusters with 18 points off 12 attacks, three blocks, and three aces while Pao Pablico added 16 markers.
Air Force ends the preliminary round with a 2-3 slate. They move on to the round robin quarterfinals along with PLDT, Army, and IEM.
Vice Co. (3) – Garcia 18, Pablico 16, Malabunga 14, Bugaoan 8, Solis 8, Paglinawan 6, Quiel 5, Silang 4, Paler 3, Ramos 1, Suarez 0, Kalingking (L), Marmeto (L)
Air Force (2) – Ismail 40, Abdilla 25, Tolentino 12, Malabanan 10, Fuentes 9, Labrador 2, Dimaculangan 0, Mojica 0, Mangaring (L)