AMC-Cotabato bounced back from its straight-sets demise to Cignal by eliminating PGJC-Navy, 25-22, 23-25, 25-15, 25-20, Friday in the 2023 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference at Paco Arena.
Jau Umandal was a man on a mission for Cotabato, erupting for 27 points on 23 attacks, three blocks, and a service ace he laced with 15 excellent receptions.
Wewe Medina chipped in 13 points and Jayvee Sumagaysay had nine, while Arnold Bautista, Rex Intal, and Lloyd Josafat all got five apiece.
“Ang concern ko lang is magjell sila, yung cohesion ng team, saka yung mastery ng system. Ngayon, nakukuha na nila yung sa atake, yung sa depensa naman yung nawala,” said head coach Odjie Mamon.
The Sealions were able to equalize the game at one set apiece after Wilbert Sapida’s late heater in the second before Greg Dolor punctuated it with an off-the-block kill, 25-23.
But Cotabato’s response was more potent, pulling away early in the third en route to a lopsided win before fending off Navy’s fightback in the fourth that pushed the squad to 6-1 at third while waving goodbye to the Sealions, who dropped to 3-5.
Christian Marcelion paced Navy with 15 points while Sapida added 11. However, team skipper Dolor was limited to just seven.
The win by AMC also kicked Santa Rosa City out of next round contention, having a 4-5 win-loss card with one game left to play. Cignal, Iloilo, and Imus-Ivy Tuason Photography along with Cotabato all have six or more wins. VNS is the lone surviving team outside of the current Top Four with a 4-3 slate.
Cotabato will be back on Sunday against hapless Vanguard at 5:30 pm, while Navy will wrap up its campaign against National University-Archipelago and VNS.