Heading into the semifinals, the Champion Supra Spikers picked up an uplifting win over previously-unebeaten Air Force Airmen 25-27, 25-22, 25-22, 27-25 in the 2016 Spikers’ Turf Reinforced Conference at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
With both teams already assured of their semis spots, Champion pulled out all the stops down the stretch of each set to clinch a shocking result.
Air Force head coach Rhovyl Verayo attributed the loss to lack of energy coming out of a long holiday break.
“Medyo matagal din kaming hindi nakapaglaro kaya hindi ganoong kapulido ang nga galaw namin. Pero, sa totoo lang, maganda talaga ang nilaro ng Champion. Kailangan namin maghanda talaga sa semis kasi hindi puwedeng ganoon ang laruin namin sa Sabado,” Verayo said.
La Salle standout Arjay Onia led a balanced Champion scoring slate with 18 points. Joven Camaganakan adder 16 markers while Ace Mandani and Berlin Paglinawan provided 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Former Spikers’ Turf MVP Mark Alfafara powered home 24 points for Air Force while former two-time NCAA MVP Howard Mojica managed 15.
Suffering their first loss of the season, Air Force heads into the best-of-three semis as the top seed and faces the IEM Volley Masters.
Champion Supra comes in as the third seed and takes on the star-studded Cignal HD Spikers.
All semifinals matches will be on Saturday at the PhilSports Arena.
Champion Supra (3) – Onia 18, Camaganakan 16, Mandani 12, Paglinawan 11, Asia 7, Jose 4, Del Pilar 2, Dumago 1, Relata 0, Movido (L), Mangaring (L)
Air Force (1) – Alfafara 24, Mojica 15, Fuentes 8, Labrador 8, Malabanan 7, Inaudito 4, Jerus 3, De Ocampo 1, Tolentino 1, Avila 0, Lopez 0, Chavez (L), Mosuelo (L)