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Spikers Turf: Labrador, Air Force begin closing run with sweep of Vanguard


Philippine Air Force snapped its futility with a quick take of another also-ran team Vanguard in straight sets, 25-14, 26-24, 25-23, to bag its second win in the 2023 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference, Sunday at the Paco Arena Sports and Events Center in Manila.

The Airmen flew to ninth place at 2-7, while it pushed its victims to the bottom of the standings in their stead at 1-7.

“Maganda na nakita namin yung ine-ensayo namin. Nakita namin nung unang set parang ayaw ng lumaban nung kalaban namin kaya sabi ko sa kanila, ‘Huwag niyo ng bigyan ng kumpansya.’ Kasi tulad ng second set, nagkaron ng kumpiyansa, dumikit sa ‘min.” coach Melchor Carolino said.

“Unang-una, hindi pa prepared ‘yung mga katawan nila, so dapat kung mananalo kami straight sets, kasi pagdating ng fourth, fifth set, pagod na sila,” he added.

Air Force zoomed into a dominant win in the opening set with veteran setter Jessie Lopez finding production from former National University standouts Edwin Tolentino and Ruben Inaudito.

It was, however, Lopez’s former Far Eastern University teammate Labrador who was consistent throughout the one-hour-and-22-minute match. The versatile spiker ended with 16 points on 14 attacks and two blocks.

For Vanguard, Razzel Palisoc paced the squad with 16 points, 15 of them coming from spikes, while Vince Abrot added 11 markers on nine attacks, one block, and one service ace.

Both teams will be facing on AMC-Cotabato in their next assignments with the Airmen closing out its campaign in the conference against the 5-1 squad on March 17 at 5:30 p.m. Vanguard will take the earlier crack on the Odjie Mamon-mentored side on March 12, also at 5:30 p.m.

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Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.


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