LIPA CITY, BATANGAS—MRT Negros advanced to the second round of the classification stage after sweeping Basilan, 25-20, 25-18, 25-20 in the PNVF Champions League on Thursday at the Aquamarine Sports Complex.
After receiving the short end of the stick in a three-way tie with Global Remit and Sabong International in Pool B, MRT Negros was relegated to the first round of the classification phase.
“Sabi ko nga sa mga bata na it’s a battle of pride na lang,” said MRT Negros head coach Ralph Savellano.
Looking to close out the more-experienced Basilan, MRT Negros leaned on Gadpray Aregado. He put the Negrenses at match-point, 24-19, in the third set.
Mohammad Sulayman scored for the Steel Spikers, before Aregado shut the doors with a kill.
“We tried our best na makapasok sa semis pero unfortunately hindi binigay sa amin. So sabi ko, all-out pa rin kasi it’s a great opportunity na makalaro dito sa ganitong klaseng liga. So malaking exposure ‘to para sa mga bata saka sa amin na rin na mga coaches,” added Savellano.
Christian Marcelino took charge for MRT Negros with a game-high 15 points.
Meanwhile, Jet Nonoy and Matthew Salarzon chipped in six apiece.
The Steel Spikers, who ended the first-ever Champions League winless, placing seventh, was led by Esmail Kasim with 11 points.
MRT Negros will take on fellow Negrenses Sabong International tomorrow at 10:00 AM.