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Spikers Turf: Ronquillo, Kampton return as DLSU-Ecooil outlasts San Beda in 5-set thriller


La Salle-EcoOil dodged a bullet after turning back MKA-San Beda in a thrilling five-set affair, 25-18, 25-22, 22-25, 21-25, 22-20, to remain unbeaten in the Spikers’ Turf Invitational Conference at the Paco Arena, Sunday night.

The Green Oilers, after taking the first and second sets, struggled in the next two before eventually scoring a massive win in the extended decider which put them at 3-0 in Group B.

“Satisfied in a way kasi nanalo pero parang kulang talaga, kulang. Ito, yung naglaro kanina starters from V-League, ngayon na lang ulit naglaro eh so it’s been almost a month bago sila naglaro ulit magkakasama. Nandoon pa rin kami sa ano na every game, maipakita lang yung best nila,” said La Salle head coach Jose Roque.

With the Red Spikers threatening to steal the game, Noel Kampton, Nathaniel Del Pilar, and JM Ronquillo each chipped in a 3-0 blast that turned a 10-11 disadvantage to a commanding 13-11 lead in the fifth set.

Kampton, however, committed a service error before Greg Munsing hammered down a quick hit to tie the game at 13. Vince Maglinao sent the Green Oilers at match point but a service error by Jules De Jesus sent the game to a deuce.

From there, both squads traded hits before Ronquillo fired a searing cross-court hit which was followed by Joshua Rodriguez’s game-clinching block on Andre Bakil.

“Sana mabalik namin yung naglalaro kami nang buo kasi may pagkakataon na nagkakanya kanya sila to the point na hindi na sila nagtutulungan. Gusto ko lang makita ulit how we played during V-League championship,” said Roque.

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Kampton took charge for La Salle with 22 points on 19 attacks and three service aces while Ronquillo tallied 20 points on 14 attacks, five blocks, and one ace after two hours and eight minutes of play.

Del Pilar tallied seven huge blocks to finish with 18 points while De Jesus delivered 16 points to go along with 17 excellent receptions.

Diogenes Poquita glued things together with 26 excellent sets while Menard Guererro tallied 20 excellent receptions and eight excellent digs in the contest.

La Salle looks to close in on a playoff berth against Air Force on Sunday, 3:00 p.m. at the same venue.

Kevin Montemayor paced the 1-2 Red Spikers with 22 points on 21 attacks and one block to go along with six excellent digs while Axel Book and Bakil added 18 and 15 points, respectively in the loss.

San Beda will next face VNS on November 22, also at 3:00 p.m.

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