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PNVF CL: Gampong, Imus-AJAA eliminate NU-Pasay in shocker


Imus City pulled off a 20-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-17 reversal of National University-Pasay to advance to the Philippine National Volleyball Federation Champions League men’s semifinals Friday at the Philsports Arena.

A team that was formed a week before the competition, the Cavite-based spikers played with a lot of intensity to avenge their 23-25, 29-27, 14-25, 25-27 loss to the Bulldogs in pool play.

“What we did is we studied their weaknesses,” said Imus coach Sammy Acaylar. “I just told them to play and I’ll take care of our team’s strategies.”

Madz Gampong, playing against his college team, delivered the goods for Imus, which will face the winner of the quarterfinals match between Cignal and Bacolod City in the semis of the tournament supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, Rebisco, PLDT, Philippine Olympic Committee, Cignal HD, One Sports, Cignal Play, F2 Logistics, and Amigo Entertainment.

“Gampong is Gampong. He is one of the best players before and who would have thought, he has a day job right now and he is still strong. I saw his potential and his jumping abilities,” said Acaylar.

Together with Ronniel Rosales, Gampong won last year’s inaugural Champions League gold for Team Dasma at the Lipa City bubble and hopes to do it again for Imus.

“Me and Ronniel have the heart of being a champion. It is in the mindset,” said Gampong.

The other men’s semifinal pits PGJC-Navy and North Cotabato at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

The gold medal match is on Sunday.

Imus City is the lowest-ranked team that made it to the semis, being one of the two best third-place

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Earlier, PGJC-Navy swept Santa Rosa, 25-13, 25-16, 25-21, to become the first team to advance to the Philippine National Volleyball Federation Champions League men’s semifinals.

“It’s all about teamwork and communication,” said Christian Marcelino, who led the Sea Lions with 14 kills. “Confidence can play a big role really for a team. I’m very thankful for my teammates because they do their roles as well as our coaches.”

Greg Dolor and Joeven dela Vega each scored 13 points for PGJC-Navy.

Coach Cecille Cruzada is satisfied with the way the Sea Lions are performing, as they picked up where they left off in sweeping Pool A of the tournament.

“So far, we are peaking,” said Cruzada, who steered the military-based team to a third place finish in the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference recently. “During training, we worked overtime for our service receive and they performed well. They were doing hard service, our first ball is okay and so they performed well.”

Extending its perfect run to five matches, PGJC-Navy will face North Cotabato, a 25-23, 25-21, 25-21 win over Army Taguig City, for a place in Sunday’s finals at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

“We will give them a good fight,” said G-Spikers coach Odjie Mamon on their semis duel with the Sea Lions. “We have reached this far by these players working hard.”

John Vic de Guzman and Jao Umandal produced 14 points apiece while Kim Malabunga had 13 points for North Cotabato.

Mark Enciso, meanwhile, scored 10 points for the Troopers.

Jade Disquitado had nine points to lead the Lions, one of the two best-third placed teams in the pool round.

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Mark Enciso, meanwhile, scored 10 points for the Troopers.

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