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Air Force strikes down Army in Battle of Armed Forces


Philippine Air Force Jet Spikers pinned their fellow military men Philippine Army Troopers to the ground in convincing fashion, 25-22, 27-25, and 25-17, in the Battle of the Armed Forces in the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Reinforced Conference Wednesday afternoon at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Mark Alfafara topscored for the Airmen with 14 points, with 11 of those coming off attacks. Bryan Bagunas supplied 11 markers. Setter Jessie Lopez, on the other hand, had 30 excellent sets in Air Force’s fourth straight win.

With both teams familiar with each other’s schemes, a tight battle ensued right in the first set. Air Force grabbed the upper hand midway, 16-13, but Army stormed back through their usual combo hits and did not let the Jet Spikers pull away. However, the Troopers failed to pull stops late in the set, allowing Air Force to go up with a 1-0 set lead, 25-22.

The Troopers were down 16-12 in the second frame, but received a timely boost from Benjaylo Labide by scoring five in an 8-2 run to send Army up, 20-18. The Airmen fought back off aces and combo plays behind Alfafara and Bagunas and reached set point, 24-21, but Army forced deuces late. The Troopers had chances to tie the match, but Bagunas’ kill and ace helped PAF triumph, 27-25.

Now ahead by two sets, Air Force soared higher over their counterparts. With Bagunas leading once more, the Jet Spikers took advantage of Army’s sloppy play on both ends to post a wide 18-13 lead. From there, Army seemed to have lost their footing, paving the way for Air Force to pull a 7-4 spree again behind Bagunas to eke out a straight-set finish against their fellow military men, 25-17.

#ReadMore  PAF repeats over IEM, goes up 1-0 in series

Air Force head coach Rhovyl Verayo said that he did not expect their victory to come via straight sets.

“Hindi. Ang sabi lang namin is maglaro kami ng maayos. Sabi ko hindi tayo mapapahamak kapag naglaro tayo ng maayos,” said Verayo postgame.

“Malakas din ang Army, pinag-aralan namin. So come what may, kung gagawin lang natin trabaho natin, whether straight sets or four sets or five sets, it doesn’t matter para sa’min as long as panalo,” he added.

But despite the Jet Spikers’ unblemished 4-0 card, Verayo insisted that his team should not settle and relax despite their unscathed run.

“Marami pa rin naman kaming kailangan iimprove eh. Hindi pa natatapos ang conference. Hindi kami puwedeng maging kumpiyansa kahit na 4-0 na kami,” Verayo iterated.

Labide spearheaded Army’s offense with 13 points all from attacks, while Patrick Rojas backed him up with 11. Kungfu Reyes had 27 excellent tosses in the loss.

Air Force, now 4-0, will try to post their fifth straight win against IEM Volley Masters next Wednesday, October 26. Army (1-1), meanwhile, will look to bounce back versus Champion Supra this Saturday, October 22. All matches are set at 12:30 PM.

The Scores:

Air Force (3) – Alfafara 14, Bagunas 11, Mojica 9, Malabanan 6, Inaudito 4, Jerus 3, Fuentes 3, Labrador 2, Lopez 2, Tolentino 2, Avila 0, De Ocampo 0, Chavez L.

Army (0) – Labide 13, Rojas 11, Villonson 9, Depamaylo J. 7, Torres 6, Oxciano 2, Reyes 2, Reyes K. 0, Baloaloa 0, Depamaylo N. 0, Uy L, Bayking L.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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