Shaking off the rust from a 34-day layoff, the Perpetual Altas picked things up at the right time, outlasting the Philippine Navy Sea Lions, 25-23, 16-25, 25-20, 22-25, 15-11, to advance to the semifinals of the 2019 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference, Tuesday at the Paco Arena.
“It’s great na panalo kami. Siyempre, Navy ‘yan eh. Some of them were my players in Perpetual,” said Perpetual head coach Sammy Acaylar. “Nakakataas ng morale sa amin, nakakataas ng morale sa Perpetual. Malaki ang vision ko sa team ko na kapag NCAA champion, hindi basta-basta.”
After a series of errors from both squads, Perpetual found themselves on top with a three-point advantage, 8-5 in the decider.
Omar Lioc scored two points in the Sea Lions’ 3-0 spurt which put them a point behind from the Altas. Perpetual then raced to a 13-10 lead after an off-the-block hit from Joebert Almodiel.
Joeven Dela Vega tried to rescue Navy from the hands of defeat, but Louie Ramirez hammered one off an over-receive. He also blocked Greg Dolor in the ensuing play to seal the Sea Lions’ fate.
Almodiel spearheaded Perpetual’s attack with 15 points coming off 13 hits, an ace, and a block while also collecting 23 excellent receptions.
Ronniel Rosales, meanwhile, scattered seven hits, four service aces, and three kill blocks for 14 points. Altas rookies Hero Austria and Kennry Malinis chipped in nine and eight markers in the win.
EJ Casana steered the offensive strike with 23 excellent sets for Perpetual.
On the other hand, Dela Vega’s 20-point performance went for naught, as the Sea Lions bowed out of the tournament.
Team captain Greg Dolor spiked 14 hits for 17 points while Kurl Rosete added 12 markers in a losing effort.
National team stalwart and former Altas libero Jack Kalingking had 16 excellent receptions and 12 digs for Navy. Fellow Perpetualite Relan Taneo dished out 27 excellent sets laced with four markers.
With the victory, Perpetual will enter the semifinals and face the Cignal HD Spikers in a best-of-three series.