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Jet Spikers draw first blood behind Caballejo heroics


The Philippine Air Force Jet Spikers rode Caballejo and Cases’ heroics to draw first blood against the Laoag Power Smashers in their best-of-three semifinals match-up in the Shakey’s V League Season 13 Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

After losing to the Power Smashers in three sets in their elimination round meeting, the Jet Spikers finally got their revenge.

“‘Yung pagkukulang namin nu’ng first time naming nakalaban ‘yung Laoag, napunan namin ngayon. Pinakita ng bawat isa ‘yung dapat gawin sa court,” said Air Force head coach Jasper Jimenez.

Cases provided the jabs, while Caballejo gave the finishing blows at crunch time in three close sets, 25-20, 26-24, 26-24.

The Power Smashers were up by a point, 16-15, coming into the second technical timeout in a tight first set when the Lady Jet Spikers unleashed a 10-4 run sparked by attacks from Joy Cases and Judy Caballejo to end the set, 25-20.

Cases and Caballejo scored totals of 15 each to lead Air Force.

Laoag seemed to have control of the second set, leading by six, 22-16, after Jessica Galanza found the corner on an attack and forced the Air Force head coach to call a timeout.

Galanza, Mylene Paat and Jovy Prado combined for 36 points for the Power Smashers.

After talking things over, the Jet Spikers cut the lead to two, via four straight points off two Caballejo attacks and a couple of unforced errors for Laoag, before coach Nes Pamilar called a timeout.

Air Force rode off the shifting momentum and took the set, 26-24, with a 6-2 stretch capped by a cross court attack and a service ace.

#ReadMore  Tamaraws stay perfect, slip past Green Spikers

After finding themselves in a deuce with the Power Smashers, 24-24, in the final set, Caballejo once again saved the day for the Jet Spikers with an off-the-block hit and a service ace to end the game.

“‘Yung mga last point kasi, winning attitude na lang ‘yun e, kumbaga. Kung gusto mong makuha ‘yung game, ipanalo mo,” said former UST Growling Tiger Caballejo.

The Game 2 of the semifinal match-up will be on Saturday, July 2, still at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

“Sana magtuloy-tuloy at ibigay sa amin ‘yung isa para [straight] to the finals. Lahat naman ng team, ‘yun ang ine-aim e. Konting sakripisyo pa,” said Jimenez. “‘Yung confidence level ng team ngayon, tumataas talaga.”

The Scores:

Air Force (3) – Caballejo 15, Cases 15, Tapic 13, Pantino 10, Semana 3, Antipuesto 2, Yongco 1, Manzano 1, Papa 0, Abanto 0, Crisostomo (L)

Laoag (0) – Paat 13, Prado 12, Galanza 11, Villegas 5, Eulalio 3, Saet 2, Sante 1, Emnas 0, Galang (L), Gillego (L)

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