VNS stunned Imus-Ivy Tuason Photography in five sets, 12-25, 25-20, 25-21, 11-25, 25-13, to bolster its semifinals bid in the 2023 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference, Sunday at the Paco Arena.
Pemie Bagalay and Jeremy Pedrosa spearheaded the upset victory that put the Griffins at the fourth spot with a 4-3 standing. Both players scored 17 points with the former also collecting 24 excellent receptions.
With the AJAA Spikers ahead by one point, 11-12, in the final set, Pedrosa kick-started a 3-0 blast, which included a net violation on Ronniel Rosales and a Russel Fronda block on Rosales, that placed them at match point.
Pedrosa committed a service error but Fronda managed to secure a quick attack that ended the game.
“Actually pinaghandaan talaga namin yung kalaban kasi alam namin nandiyan si Kim [Malabunga], si [Ronniel] Rosales na mga best middle blocker ng ilang taon an e,” said VNS head coach Ralph Ocampo.
“Nag-practice kami ng blocking namin para ma-stop namin yung atake nila so ayun, more on ganun talaga yung preparation namin against Imus,” he added.
Jake Buslig had 12 points and six excellent digs for the Griffins while Fronda and Renz Cruz added eight and six points, respectively.
On the other hand, Kim Malabunga led the way for the AJAA Spikers with 22 points on 20 attacks, a block, and an ace while Hero Austria and Francis Saura had 13 and 12 points.
Imus remained second with a 5-2 record.
VNS will take on Sta. Rosa next Sunday at 3:00 PM. Meanwhile, Imus will return on Friday to face AMC-Cotabato also at 3:00 PM.