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Sta. Elena fends off hungry PLDT to notch first Spikers Turf win



The Sta.Elena Wrecking Balls survived the PLDT Home Ultera Ultra Fast Fast Hitters 25-22, 21-25, 14-25, 29-27 to barge in the win column in the Spikers Turf Season One Reinforced Conference Conference at the FilOil Flying V Arena, Saturday afternoon.

In the first set, both teams were tied at 20. Myco Antonio scored a drop shot and Mark Alfafara committed an attack error to hand the Wrecking Balls a 22-20 lead, but Alfafara unleashed a cross court attack and Alnasip Laja committed an attack error for a deadlock at 22. Antonio uncorked a dropshot to give Sta.Elena a 23-22 lead. An attack error from Alfafara put Alfarfara at set point,24-23 which was followed by a tip from Angelo Macalma to end the set in favor of the Wrecking Balls.

In the following set, Sta.Elena utilized their blocking to deny PLDT and mount a 16-13 lead. Still, behind Jayson Ramos and Vince Mangulabnan the Ultra Fast Hitters were able to tie it at 16. Sta. Elena banked on Antonio and Onia to keep the Ultra Fast Hitters in a two sets to none hole.

Falling behind 8-6 in the third set, Ronjay Galang led the PLDT comeback in burying the Wrecking Balls as they built a 17-10 lead in the middle of the set and never looked back as Sta. Elena struggled to get back in the set, committing numerous errors.

Playing with motivation in the highly contested fourth set, the Ultra Fast Hitters scored off mis-received balls from Sta.Elena to take set point, 24-23. An attack error from Berlin Paglinawan forced a deadlock at 24. He made up for the error with a  block on Onia to give PLDT a 25-24 lead. A net touch violation from PLDT tied things at 25, and Galang scored down the line to put PLDT at the lead, 26-25. Christian Arbasto unleashed a quick hit to tie things again at 26.

Arbasto and Antonio blocked Galang for a 27-26 lead for Sta.Elena, yet PLDT still had gas left in the tank as Peter Torres unleashed runner for a 27 deadlock. Arbasto ended the match as he scored the last two points of Sta.Elena to end PLDT aspirations in extending the match once again.

“Diniscuss namin ang tendency nila at pinanood ang mga video ng laro nila” said Sta.Elena Coach Arnold Laniog as they prepared well against PLDT and bounced back on their loss against the Philippine Navy Sailors last weekend.

Onia led Sta.Elena with 17 points while Antonio contributed 12 markers.

Alfafara finished also with 17 points, 13 points coming from attacks and four block for the Ultra Fast Hitters.

Sta.Elena (1-1) will next face the Cignal HD Spikers on October 24 at 3:00 PM while PLDT(0-2)will try to bounce back against the IEM Volley Master at 5:00 PM in the same day at the same venue.

The Scores:

Sta.Elena (3) – Onia 17, Antonio 12, Hondrade 9, Laja 7, Mandani 6, Arbasto 5, Macalma 3, Espiritu 2, Gomez 1, Abdulwahab 0, Molate 0, Lozada (L)

PLDT (1)– Alfafara 17, J.Torres 13, Galang 11, Pecana 7, P.Torres 6, Franco 6, Mangulabnan 4, Paglinawan 3, Casillan 0, Longavela (L), Mangaring (L)