VNS survived the upset-seeking Army in five sets, 25-14, 20-25, 18-25, 25-11, 15-13, to stay alive in the 2023 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference semifinals race, Wednesday at the Paco Arena.
The Griffins – whose headquarters in Novaliches, Quezon City almost got ravaged by a fire that started from a nearby factory – pulled through against the Troopers. They overcame a 1-2 deficit en route to their sixth win in nine outings which kept them in the semis race.
“Actually hindi kami masyadong nakapag-training kasi nasunugan kami. Nasunog yung likod na factory namin, so dumampi na yung apoy sa may homecourt namin. So yung mga players ko walang mga tulog ‘yan,” said VNS head coach Ralph Ocampo.
Pemie Bagalay continued to step up for VNS, scoring a game-high 20 points on 16 attacks, two aces, and two blocks. He also had 15 excellent receptions and 10 digs to finish with a triple-double after almost two hours of action.
Rocky Motol supplied 13 points, while the pair of Jeremy Pedrosa and Jake Buslig chipped in 13 and 10 markers each.
“Nakakatrauma yung experience pero yung mga player ko talaga, I salute them kasi naglaro pa rin sila nang maayos despite of all the tragedy,” said Ocampo
VNS still has a chance to make the Final Four but they must sweep their final game and hope that Iloilo will drop both of its remaining matches, which will force a tiebreaker through set ratio.
On the other hand, Benjaylo Labide paced the 3-7 Army with 13 points. Kevin Liberato and PJ Rojas each had 12 points.
VNS will go up against PGJC-Navy on Sunday at 12:30 PM.