VNS entered the win column with a close straight set beating of Vanguard, 25-18, 30-28, 26-24, in the 2023 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference at Paco Arena in Manila on Wednesday night.
Down by as much as six in the second frame, the Griffins clawed back and forced a deuce at 24 before exchanging points with the Volley Hitters.
With Vanguard ahead 28-27, Nathan Sorio flunked his service to tie the set anew. Then Evo Riñon denied Vince Abrot at the net to send VNS at set point, before Abrot’s spike went straight to the net for the 2-0 Griffins advantage.
In the third, it was VNS who enjoyed a big lead midway, 19-12, though the Volley Hitters were able to come back and tie the game at 24. However, Sorio committed a costly net touch violation before Pemie Bagalay finished the match with an off-the-block attack.
“Nakakatuwa kasi 11 players yung nawala sa amin eh. So halos karamihan dito first timer na maglaro sa malaking liga like Spikers’ Turf,” said Griffins head coach Ralph Ocampo on their first win that moved them at 1-1.
“Nakakatuwa and nakaka-boost ng morale dahil majority of my players, hindi naman nakapag UAAP, NCAA. Magandang morale-booster ito,” he added in preparation of their next game on Sunday against 2-0 Iloilo.
Returning Ron Medalla led the well-balanced offense of VNS with 11 points. Meanwhile, Bagalay and Noy Pedrosa chimed in nine apiece.
Vanguard, which fell to 1-1 as well, was spearheaded by Vince Abrot, who was a one-man show with 18 points.
Joven Camaganakan and Razzel Palisoc – both spectacular in the Volley Hitters win over National University-Archipelago last time – were limited to just three and four points, respectively.
Vanguard will be back next Wednesday against Philippine Army at 3:00 PM.