Madz Gampong and defending champions Go For Gold-Air Force Jet Spikers opened their title defense with a dominant win against the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates, 25-11, 25-15-25-18, in Group B of the 2019 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference at the Paco Arena, Tuesday.
“Sinasabi ko lagi sa kanila, yung skills nila nandiyan lang yan. Kailangan lang natin ng disiplina sa ginagawa. Sa practice, basta may progress lang sa ginagawa. Yung service receive namin, every practice nandiyan lang tinatrabaho namin,” said Air Force head coach Dante Alinsunurin.
Gampong fired 10 points, including nine attacks, to power the Jet Spikers’ opening day victory. Meanwhile, Ran Abdilla flaunted his well-rounded play and finished with nine points, seven digs, and four receptions.
Nino Jeruz was a force above the net, tallying four blocks for five points. Fauzi Ismail chipped in seven markers.
Lyceum team captain Juvic Colonia had eight markers for the 0-1 Pirates, while Andrei Tibayan had six.
In the first game of the tournament, the Adamson Soaring Falcons fought back from two sets down to escape the feisty Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, 20-25, 25-18, 21-25, 25-19, 15-12, in a five-set thriller in Group A.
“Sa tingin namin, nag-adjust lang sila sa environment sa loob ng court kasi first time nilang maglaro dito. Bago kasi yung line-up namin na first six… [So] Yun nga, nawala ako, tapos nawala yung isang quicker namin. Madami yung nadagdag sa first six,” said assistant coach Pao Pablico.
“Nung huli na, doon na talaga sila lumaban. Hindi naman sila inunderestimate, tinraining talaga namin sila kasi alam naming madepensa ang EAC, which is nakilala sila sa depensa talaga,” he added.
With the fifth frame turning into a seesaw affair, Leo Miranda fired a kill to take a 12-10 advantage for the Soaring Falcons. EAC tried to fight back, but an error from the service line followed by a quick attack from Royce Bello put Adamson at match-point. Joshua Mina then botched an attack, sealing his side’s fate.
George Labang top-scored the Falcons with 18 points built on 13 attacks and five blocks, plus 11 digs. Geffrey Alicando was stellar above the net, with 16 markers coming from 11 hits and five blocks.
Meanwhile, team captain Miranda and Bello contributed 12 points apiece. The former also collected 19 excellent receptions in Adamson’s opening day win
Carlo Jimenez knotted things up for the Falcons with 26 excellent sets to go along with his four markers.
On the other hand, Mina’s 22-point outing went down the drain. The NCAA Season 94 Second Best Outside Hitter also had a stellar performance on the defensive end, tallying 20 excellent receptions and 13 digs.
After dropping the first set, NCAA champions University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas outgunned the Philippine Coast Guard Dolphins in four sets, 22-25, 25-16, 25-15, 25-21 in the nightcap.
Kennry Malinis led the Altas with 17 points founded on 11 attacks, four blocks, and two aces. Meanwhile, Louie Ramirez fired 12 markers in the Altas’ first win.
Reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player Joebert Almodiel chipped in nine markers built on eight attacks in this game in Group C.
The Dolphins are still winless in the Spikers’ Turf season. They were led by Esmail Kasim with 15 markers, while Lerry Francisco also added 15.
Eddiemar Kasim and Aidam Adan contributed 12 and 10 markers each. Only four players were able to barge into the scoring column for the Coast Guard.