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Ateneo keeps pace with Air Force as PGJC-Navy gains solo lead


Picking up where they left off, Chumason Njigha and the Ateneo Blue Ealges continued their rousing start in the 2019 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference, booting out Centro Escolar University in three sets, 25-17, 25-19, 25-14, Thursday at Paco Arena.

With the victory, the Blue Eagles tied defending champion Go for Gold-Air Force at the top of Group B with identical 3-0 records.

“Actually masaya ako ngayon kasi lahat ng players nagamit, lahat ng players nag deliver. Nakita ko din maganda yung adjustments nung lahat kahit paiba iba yung pwesto nila, they’re very aware kung ano yung mga dapat nilang gawin,” said Ateneo head coach Timothy Sto. Tomas.

Chumason Njigha finished with 14 points built on eight attacks, four blocks, and two aces while Ron Medalla also ended up with 14 markers on 11 hits, two blocks, and an ace for Ateneo.

Gian Glorioso chipped in 10 points while team captain Egie Magadia collected 17 excellent sets.

On the other hand, the CEU trio of Carlo Villahermoso, Miguel Gonzales, and Ahljune Sandoval finished with seven points each for the Scorpions, who dropped their fourth straight match.

Also grabbing victories were the PGJC-Philippine Navy Sea Lions and the IEM Phoenix Volley Masters.

Bonjomar Castel powered the Sea Lions’ straight-set rout of the Mapua University Cardinals, 25-19, 25-16, 28-26, to gain solo lead in Group D.

Castel fired 14 points built on nine attacks and four blocks to tow his side to a 3-0 win-loss slate while also slamming the doors on the Cardinal’s playoff hopes.

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“Sa ngayon medyo kampante na kami sa laro kasi nakatatlo na din. Magaling din naman yung kalaban namin nagkataon lang na mas maganda yung nilaro ng mga bata ko so yun yung naging factor kung bakit kami nanalo,” said Navy head coach Bernard Manarpaac.

Greg Dolor and Joeven Dela Vega scored 13 points apiece while JD Diwa chipped in nine markers in the victory. Meanwhile, Relan Taneo dished out 23 excellent sets in the victory.

Mapua, who dropped to a 1-3 card, was led John San Andres and Alfredo Pagulong with 12 points each.

Razzel Palisoc and Mark Enciso, on the other hand, propelled the Volley Masters past the gutsy Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, 26-28, 26-24, 25-21, 25-20, in Group A action.

IEM’s dynamic duo exploded for 41 points combined with Palisoc scoring 21 and Enciso finishing with 20 to give the Volley Masters their third victory in four outings.

Jason Canlas and Carlo Almario proved to be a force on the defensive end with the former tallying 18 receptions and 18 digs while the latter had 17 and 16.

Carlo Desuyo steered the offensive attack with 24 excellent sets.

“Sa awa ng Diyos, sa second hanggang fourth set medyo umaangat yung laro, nakakapag adjust kaagad. Masaya kasi nakuha namin yung panalong ‘to,” said IEM head coach Pathie Jamiri.

Meanwhile, Joshua Ramilo’s 26-point performance went for naught as the Generals bowed out of the competition with a 1-4 standing.

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