By: Jonash Dannug
Rebisco Philippines survived a five-set thriller against Philippine Navy, 23-25, 26-24, 25-15, 21-25, 15-13, in the 2019 Spikers’ Turf Reinforced Conference, Tuesday at Paco Arena in Manila.
Marck Espejo – who drew match point in sets two and three – posted 26 points for the now-3-0 Rebisco-Philippines. Team captain Johnvic De Guzman also tallied 26 points.
The national team went on to shrug off their slow start and dominated the third set, leading to an Espejo kill, 25-15.
“I think ang reason kung bakit umabot ng fifth set, ‘yung game kasi, slow start kami. ‘Di namin agad na-organize ‘yung team, kung paano namin mae-execute ‘yung mga plays namin and ‘yung service receives namin,” said De Guzman as Rebisco is now 3-0 in the standings.
After dropping the following frame, Espejo and De Guzman connived in the deciding set, scoring crucial points to clinch the game.
Greg Dolor and JD Diwa had 16 points apiece for the Sea Lions, who fell to 2-2 in the standings.
Joining Rebisco on top of the standings with an identical 3-0 record are defending champion Philippine Air Force.
The Aguilas stamped their class on Easytrip-Raimol, picking up a straight-set, 25-17, 25-23, 25-19 victory.
Ranran Abdilla ran roughshod on the 0-2 Easytrip, dropping 16 markers on 10 kills, two blocks, and four aces.
“’Yung kalaban namin kanina, hindi namin sila ina-underestimate. Kung mapapansin niyo, halos lahat ng first six ay nasa loob. Alam namin competitive din sila eh,” said Abdilla.
Abdilla let loose in a tight second set, delivering the killer blow to break a 23-all tie. An Easytrip error then gave Air Force a 2-0 lead.
In the final set, Kim Malabunga, who had nine markers in the game, completely shut the doors on Easytrip.
Meanwhile, Milover Parcon scored nine points for Easytrip
Air Force’s arch-rivals Philippine Army barged into the win column in the first game of the day after a five-set win over the IEM Phoenix Volley Masters, 15-25, 26-24, 25-20, 27-25, 15-13 triumph.
Down by one in the deciding set, 12-13, Philippine Army capitalized on the Volley Masters’ service errors which dealt them the victory.
PJ Rojas delivered 18 points and two blocks for the Troopers, while team captain Benjaylo Labide added 17 markers to help his team nab their first win of the conference.
“Ang kulang talaga namin is blockings, hindi kami maka-block. Naunahan kami nung first set, although ‘yung second set talagang hinabol namin, nanalo kami,” said head coach Rico De Guzman.
Mark Enciso scored 20 points, while Razzel Palisoc added 16 markers for IEM, who fell to 0-3.
On Thursday, Army takes on Coast Guard to open the triple-header at 1:00 pm. This will be followed by PLDT going up against Sta. Elena at 3:00 pm. Then closing out the day is a titanic showdown between Cignal and Rebisco RP.