Needing a win to keep themselves alive in the race for a Top Four spot, the Philippine Air Force Airmen leaned heavily on their former NU open hitters to waylay the Cavite-Fourbees Patriots in straight sets 25-16, 25-18, 25-20, in their final match of the preliminary round in the Spikers’ Turf Men’s Volleyball Tournament at the FilOil Flying V Arena, San Juan City.
Ouside hitters and two-time UAAP champions with the NU Bulldogs, Edwin Tolentino and Ben Inaudito were highly featured in Air Force’s combination attack heavy offense. Tolentino topped all scorers with 17 points while Inaudito paced his team with 14 markers in just 21 attack attempts. Even their NU Coach, Dante Alinsunurin made a significant contribution in his middle blocker role with four points. Former National Team mainstay and middle blocker Jeffrey Malabanan dropped nine points with two blocks.
The Patriots end their Spikers’ Turf season with a solitary win against the IEM Volley Masters. Manuel Doliente was slotted in at the end of the first set and led the Patriots in scoring with nine points. Randean Abcede came in at about the same point and scored seven points.
The Airmen had total control of the match right from the first point as Cavite only held a slight two-point lead in the second set. But other than the short mishap, Air Force had the lead for the entire match.
The win will secure Air Force’s place in the tournament’s Top Four and they will move on to the next elimination phase in which the Top Four go through another Round Robin. The two teams with the best record will move on to the Finals.
Air Force (3) – Tolentino 17, Inauditio 14, Malabanan 9, Alinsunurin 4, Esteban 4, Hamdan 3, Lopez 2, Acojedo 0, Merza 0, Balse 0, Mosuela (L)
Cavite (0) – Doliente 9, Abcede 7, Ytorzaita 7, Coming 6, Ramos 5, Sioson 3, David 2, Catipay 1, Kalingking (L), Baroy (L)