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Spikers Turf: Army does not let Air Force spoil 126th founding anniversary


Philippine Army celebrated its 126th founding anniversary with a hard-fought five-set victory over AFP Olympic rival Philippine Air Force, 23-25, 26-24, 18-25, 25-22, 20-18, in the 2023 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference at the Paco Arena.

Mark Enciso poured 26 big points on 24 attacks and two blocks to help the Troopers up their slate to 3-5 while also eliminating the Airmen from the semifinals race.

Benjaylo Labide fired 16 points along with 10 excellent digs while PJ Rojas scored 15 points in two hours and 20 minutes of men’s volleyball action.

Air Force, who was up 14-13 in the final frame, was already on its way to securing the win after Rojas’ crosscourt attack sailed out. However, the Troopers challenged the call and a block touch was called which sent the game to a deuce.

Both teams went back and forth from there before Jessie Lopez and Nino Jeruz committed consecutive net violations that ended the game in favor of the Airmen.

Sabi ko sa kanila kailangan nilang tibayan lalo na sabi ko, regalo na nila sa Army kasi yung pride pa rin ng Army, ‘di ba? Anniversary pa namin sakto, ng Army, 126th anniversary namin,” said Army head coach Melvin Carolino.

“Yung effort nila, kapag hindi sila nag-trabaho nang maayos, hindi sila nag-receive, hindi sila nag-blockings, ‘di talaga kami mananalo. Buti maganda yung pinakita nung fifth set,” he added.

The Troopers fought back from a 2-1 set deficit in the fourth quarter before escaping Air Force in the marathon fifth set.

Rodolfo Labrador and Edwin Tolentino paced the Airmen, who suffered their fifth straight loss to go down at 1-7, with 26 and 25 points, respectively.

#ReadMore  POC irate as PATAFA brings up issue with Obiena to CAS

Army will face NU-Archipelago Builders on Sunday at 12:30 PM while Air Force will take on Vanguard later that day at 5:30 PM.

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