VNS-One Alicia averted disaster against upset-looking Santa Rosa City, 25-23, 21-25, 22-25, 30-28, 15-13, to cap Saturday’s 2022 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference action at the Paco Arena in Manila.
Knotted at 12, Yoyong Mendoza sparked the Griffins’ 3-1 spurt to close the game and grab the hard-earned victory.
“Noong first three sets talaga hindi namin mahanap ‘yung groove namin,” said VNS-One Alicia head coach Ralph Ocampo. “Ang plano talaga namin ay majority ng team magamit, pero malakas talaga ‘yung kalaban while ‘yung team namin parang masyado silang relaxed… ‘yun ‘yung winork-out namin nung huli.”
Jerremy Pedrosa’s hit gave the Griffins a 1-0 set lead but the Lions came back right away in the second frame, 25-21.
Gabriel Hernandez and Sean Labrador connived in the third canto to keep VNS-One Alicia at bay and move a set away from the triumph, 25-22/
Trailing by as much as six in the fourth, 10-16, the Griffins unleashed a 14-7 run to reach set point, 24-23, before multiple deuces.
Tied at 28, back-to-back errors by the young Santa Rosa City squad sent the match to a decider.
VNS-One Alicia joined Cignal as early leaders in the return of the country’s first men’s volley league after three years due to the pandemic with identical 2-0 records.
Benedict San Andres topscored for the Griffins with 24 points founded on 21 attacks, two blocks, and a service ace to go with 12 receptions and four digs.
Mendoza chipped in 12 points, all from spikes, with eight receptions.
Jade Disquitado paced Santa Rosa City, which didn’t make a substitution in the two hour 18-minute affair, with 25 points on 23 hits and two blocks.
Hernandez added 17 points with 18 receptions and nine digs.
The 0-2 Lions look to finally enter the win column on Tuesday, 5:30 pm against fellow winless club Ateneo-Fudgee Barr.
Meanwhile, VNS-One Alicia will face the HD Spikers in an early tussle at the top on Thursday, 2:30 pm.