Connect with us
[adinserter block="13"] [adinserter block="3"]

Alfafara, PLDT light up league-leading Air Force



Former UAAP MVP Mark Alfafara towed his PLDT Home Ultera Ultra Fast Hitters to a convincing win over then-undefeated Philippine Air Force Air Spikers 23-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-14, in the Spikers’ Turf Reinforced Conference presented by PLDT Home Ultera at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.

Alfafara topped all scorers with 25 points, 20 attacks, and five blocks, four coming in PLDT’s dominant fourth set. PLDT only barely out-attacked Air Force (49-46 on spikes), but the Air Spikers surrendered 36 errors to PLDT’s 26 to severely hampered their advances.

Despite an altered lineup to start the match, the Air Spikers staged a late comeback in the first set and ran away with an early 1-0 advantage. Rallying ahead in the following set, 8-4, Air Force failed to sustain their momentum as PLDT shored up their floor defense and serving. The Ultra Fast Hitters took the lead heading into the second technical timeout and never lookee back, continuing to sizzle in the following two sets as Air Force floundered.

PLDT’s middle blockers, Kheeno Franco and Peter Torres, and former UST Tiger Henry Pecaña paced their team with eight markers each while former Adamson Falcon Ron Jay Galang added seven markers.

Coming into the match, PLDT head coach Odjie Mamon admitted that he and the team had done the math and figured out they were assured of a semis slot regardless of the match’s result. “We just had fun and played loose,” Mamon said. He joked, “Yung gameplan namin is tactical service lang naman, and it worked out really well for us. Napatunayan ko sa kanila na if we target the opponent’s libero, makakapalo nang maganda ang kalaban.”

FEU standout Rodolfo Labrador topped the Air Spikers with 17 points while National team mainstay Jeffry Malabanan and NU standout Ben Inaudito each had 11 markers.

Even with the loss, Air Force ended the elimination round on top of the standings with a 4-1 record, ahead of the (also 4-1) Cignal HD Spikers by via quotient. PLDT landed in third with a 3-2 slate, while the final spot will be decided on Saturday, November 14 when Navy and IEM collide at the San Juan Arena.

The Scores

PLDT (3) – Alfafara 25, Franco 9, Pecaña 8, Torres P. 8, Galang 7, Mangulabnan 4, Torres J. 1, Casilan 0, Paglinawan 0, Longavela (L), Mangaring (L)

PAF (1) – Labrador 17, Inaudito 11, Malabanan 11, Fuentes 8, De Ocampo 3, Abria 2, Lopez 1, Jeruz 1, Avila 1, Mosuela (L)


Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

Click to comment