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Air Force sinks hapless Navy

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The Philippine Air Force Air Spikers continued its impressive start in the Spikers’ Turf Reinforced conference, sweeping the Philippine Navy Sailors, 25-21, 25-21,25-18, at the FilOil Flying V Arena, late Sunday afternoon.

Leading one set to none against the Sailors, the Air Spikers, behind Labrador and Inaudito, withstood the comeback attempt of the Sailors that put them on several deadlocks situation all throughout the second set. After Navy’s Edgardo Rusit tied the set at 21 with a block on Air Force’s Nino Jeruz, Nur Amin Madsari committed an attack error to help the Air Force reclaim the lead, 22-21. Afterwards, De Ocampo unloaded an ace to further increase the lead to two, 23-21. Tolentino and Inaudito then put the finishing touches to give Air Force a two-sets-to-none advantage.

Both teams played roller coaster volleyball to begin the third set. With scores tied at six, Jeffrey Malabanan drained two straight points to give Air Force a two point cushion, 8-6. Labrador and Inaudito joined Malabanan in overwhelming the Sailors, establishing a 14-9 lead, but errors coming from the Air Spikers closed the gap at 15-14. Then, Labrador, once again, scored for a 16-14, Air Force advantaged, in the second technical timeout. Reyson Fuentes, Malabanan and Labrador conspired in the later part of the set in fending end off the error prone Sailors.

Despite being undefeated, Air Force Coach, Rhovyl Verayo, said the team is still a work-in-progress especially since they missed the service of main Spiker, Ranran Abdilla, due to a hamstring injury sustained in their victory against the Cignal HD Spikers last week.

“Masaya na panalo, pero mag-aaral pa din tayo lalo nag adjust tayo dahil wala si Ranran (Abdilla) hindi ko pa alam kung kailangan makakabalik kasi masakit pa ang injury nila kaya practice at aral lang tayo dahil iniisip ko walang confidence ang team,” Verayo said.

Labrador, as he has all season, led Air Force with 14 points, adding five digs, while Ruben Inaudito chipped in 10 markers. Madsari was the lone Sailor in double figures with 15 points.

The Philippine Air Force (3-0) will next face the Sta.Elena Wrecking Balls (1-2) on November 4 at 1:00 PM, while Philippine Navy’s (1-1) next assignment is the PLDT Home Ultera Ultra Fast Hitters (1-2) at 3:00 PM in the same day at the same venue.

The Scores:

PHI Air Force (3) – Labrador 14, Inaudito 10, Malabanan 7, Jeruz 7, Abria 4, Fuentes 3, De Ocampo 3, Lopez 1, Avila 0, Tajanlangit (L)

PHI Navy (0) – Madsari 15, Palisoc 7, Sapida 5, Rusit 5, Senisan 3, Ajon 1, Kasim 1, Cacayuran 0, Junio 0, Tipay(L)

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