The Air Force Airmen made their emphatic Spikers’ Turf Open Conference debut, drubbing the Sta. Elena Wrecking Balls, 25-21, 25-18, 25-21 at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Despite their massive 27 errors, the Airmen compensated with an overwhelming offensive assault powered by National Team veterans and young collegiate stars.
Former National University Bulldog Reyson Fuentes and current Bulldog Fauzi Ismail each contributed 13 points, while NU assistant coach, setter Jessie Lopez, tossed 37 excellent sets. Two-time NCAA MVP Howard Mojica did not even need to strut his dominant form, contributing a cool ten points.
Air Force head coach Rhovyl Verayo stressed the importance of limiting their errors in future matches, citing that they cannot gift their foes nearly half their points.
“Marami pa talaga kaming errors. Siguro dahil na rin sa halos isang buwan pa lang magkakasama yung starting six ko. So, sa mga susunod na laban, kailangan maayos namin iyang mga errors pati yung mga mis-receieves namin,” said the staff sergeant.
Verayo also relishes the addition of young legs to his lineup after injuries marred Air Force’s Reinforced Conference campaign last season. The Airmen’s staple hitter, Ranran Abdilla, had sustained an ACL tear that is still yet to be operated on.
“Hopefully itong season healthy kami at wala talagang injury. Hindi yung aabot kami ng Finals saka may mapipilayan nanaman sa amin,” he expressed.
The Wrecking Balls had La Salle open hitter Arjay Onia tow their offense with eight points. Peter Torres and team captain Rocky Honrade each contributed six markers.
The Philippine Air Force (1-0) will next face the Cignal HD Spikers (1-0) in a rematch of the 2015 Reinforced Conference Finals on Saturday, June 4. On the other hand, Sta. Elena (0-1) look to bounce back as they face the IEM Volley Masters (1-0) on Wednesday, June 8.
Air Force (3) – Fuentes 13, Ismail 13, Mojica 10, Labrador 7, Malabanan 7, Lopez 2, De Ocampo 0, Avila 0, Inaudito 0, Chavez (L)
Sta. Elena (0) – Onia 8, Honrade 6, Torres 6, Arabasto 4, Camaganakan 4, Paglinawan 3, Mandani 1, Relata 1, Dela Vega 0, Abdulwahab 0, Hu (L), Mangaring (L)
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