Air Force handed Rebisco a rude farewell in the 2019 Spikers’ Turf Reinforced Conference while Cignal bounced back from a disappointing loss to end its elimination campaign on a winning note.
Playing their final game in the elimination round, the Jet Spikers dealt Rebisco-Philippines a rough farewell, dismantling the Nationals in five sets, 25-23, 9-25, 23-25, 25-23, 16-14, Tuesday, at the Paco Arena in Manila.
Ranran Abdilla ran roughshod on Rebisco; unleashing 24 points on 17 attacks, six aces, and a block while also tallying 21 receptions and six digs.
Fauzi Ismail added 14 markers to forge a 10-1 tie with Cignal.
However, despite the tie, Cignal remained the number one team with 30 total points, while Air Force were four points behind with 26.
After splitting two sets each, Air Force figured in a tight affair in the deciding stanza. Ismail scored off a kill to give the Jet Spikers their much-needed separation, 15-14. Madz Gampong then delivered the final blow with a kill from the right wing.
Meanwhile, Bryan Bagunas collected 26 points on 22 attacks, three blocks, and an ace to go along with his 17 excellent receptions.
“Tinry ko ‘yung Air Force team ko kung hanggang saan sila aabot kapag wala yung sila Bryan [Bagunas], sila Kim [Malabunga], saka Francis [Saura], so ‘yun ginawa naman [nila] yung dapat nilang gawin,” said Air Force head coach Rhovyl Verayo.
“[Pinahiram] ko muna ‘yung ibang players ko doon sa National Team kasi they’re going to Thailand tomorrow ‘di ba, kasi alam ko hindi pa rin sila buo eh,” he added.
Bagunas, along with Kim Malabunga and Francis Saura, played for Rebisco in the match as per head coach Dante Alinsunurin’s request.
The National Team is set to fly out to Thailand on Wednesday for the 2019 Sealect Tuna Volleyball Championships.
After suffering their first loss of the conference against Sta. Elena last Sunday, Ysay Marasigan and the HD Spikers vented their ire on the Animo Green Blazing Spikers, 25-21, 25-16, 25-17, eliminating the green-and-white squad from the semifinals race in the process.
Marasigan paced Cignal with 12 points which all came from attacks while Marck Espejo added 11 points to assure the HD Spikers top seed entering the semifinals with a 10-1 win-loss late.
“Sabi ko nga sa kanila, all they have to do is play their game. Minsan kasi nakakalimutan nila kung sino sila, so ‘yun lang. Motivation lang, kailangan manalo para mataas ‘yung morale nila pagdating ng semifinals,” said head coach Dexter Clamor.
Animo, who bowed out of competition with a 5-6 card, was led by Kieffer Reyes with six points.
In a battle of also-ran squads, the IEM Phoenix Volley Masters ran past the Philippine Coast Guard Dolphins in four sets, 27-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-20, to notch their second win in nine outings.
“Kasi first set nagrerelax yung mga bata, [pero] nakabawi naman. Hindi naman namin ineexpect na manalo talaga kasi malakas din naman ‘yung kalaban so ayon, sa awa ng Diyos nakuha namin ‘yung panalo,” said IEM head coach Pathie Jamiri.
Razzel Palisoc fired 11 points on nine attacks and two blocks while Mark Enciso and Lorenze Santos had nine points each for IEM.
On the other hand, Jonarth Molinyawe and Esmail Kasim both scored 14 points for Coast Guard, who remained winless.