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Abdilla powers Go for Gold-Air Force to semis, boots out PLDT


Ran Abdilla and defending champion Go For Gold-Air Force Jet Spikers pounced on the John Vic De Guzman-less PLDT, 28-26, 21-25, 25-21, 25-22, to punch their slot to the semifinals of the 2019 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference, Tuesday at the Paco Arena.

Abdilla ran roughshod on the Power Hitters, firing 24 points built on 12 attacks, 10 aces, and two kill blocks. The two-time Spikers’ Turf also flirted with a triple-double, as he tallied 23 excellent receptions and seven digs.

“Sana mag-tuluy-tuloy ‘yung service receive namin, then yung sistema namin kasi talagang naka-depende sa magiging sitwasyon ng service [at] receive namin. Basta mag-focus lang yung mga bata. Every time na nasa loob, mag-focus lang talaga,” said Air Force head coach Dante Alinsunurin.

In the fourth set, Fauzi Ismail and Abdilla were able to eke out a slim 16-12 advantage over PLDT at the second technical timeout. Still, the Power Hitters stayed within striking distance all set long. They then knocked within a point coming off a service ace from Jayvee Sumagaysay.

Looking to wrap things up, Abdilla scored through the PLDT defense to stop the bleeding.

Joshua Umandal then tried to keep the Power Hitters afloat. But Madz Gampong and Kim Malabunga completely slammed the doors on PLDT with an off-the-block hit and a kill block, respectively.

Ismail converted 14 hits for 16 points, while Malabunga finished the match with six kill blocks for 15 markers.

Jessie Lopez churned Air Force’s offense with 28 excellent sets.

PLDT – who missed the services of De Guzman due to an injured right foot – were led by Pao Pablico with 16 points founded on 11 attacks, four blocks, and an ace.

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Umandal provided 11 points, while Josafat and Mark Alfafara added 10 points each.

Air Force will square off against the victors of the quarterfinals game between Sta. Elena-NU and IEM.

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