Using a tremendously balanced attack, the Army Troopers dispatched the IEM Volleymasters in four sets, 25-16, 22-25, 26-24, 25-19, at the San Juan Arena.
Army received a timely boost from current FEU Tamaraw, Greg Dolor who started the third set and delivered eight points when Army’s offense seemed to stall. Former Tamaraw, John Ian Depamaylo led the troopers with his 14 points off 12 attacks. Patrick Rojas and Benjaylo Labide took turns bombarding IEM’s defense from the outside and both finished with 12 markers.
Army struggled for form early but IEM also began a trend of coughing up errors, allowing the Troopers to gain momentum and take the lead for the entire set. IEM libero, Carlo Almario’s effective floor defense just could not keep his team afloat.
IEM open hitter, Ivan Bacolod came off the bench in the second frame and dished out five of his nine points to help IEM control the second set. Army trimmed a five point lead to one, 19-18, but failed to make necessary adjustments to control IEM’s attackers.
Army’s Dolor entered the third set and immediately made an impact by providing an edge in a see-saw set that wound up going down the wire; as no team held a lead of more than two points. IEM last sniffed the lead at 23-22 but the troopers rattled off two straight points off a Dipamaylo block and Dolor attack. A Bacolod block sent the set into deuce but IEM failed to deliver as an attack error followed an off the block Rojas attack to immediately end the set.
IEM seemed sapped of energy in the final set as their errors allowed Army to waltz to a successful debut in the Men’s Volleyball circuit.
IEM team captain, Karl Dela Calzada had an off-game as the usually high-scoring threat produced only four points. Open hitter Jason Canlas and off-the-bench spark plug, Kirk Beliran picked up the slack scoring 14 and 12 markers respectively.
Army will look to get its second win as they face the Champion Active Smashers on April 12 while IEM will have its next matxh on April 16 against the Cignal HD Spikers.
Army (3) – Depamaylo J. 14, Labide 12, Rojas 12, Dolor 8, Torres 8, Villonson 6, Abdulmajid 4, Regugia 1, Depamaylo N. 0, Reyes 0, Uy (L)
IEM (1) – Canlas 14, Beliran 12, Jimenez 11, Raymundo 10, Bacolod 9, Dela Calzada 4, Timbal 1, Cabatingan 0, Giangan 0, Almario (L)