Spikers’ Turf 2023: Air Force dominate PCU Dasmarinas

Philippine Air Force showcased its veteran poise late in the third set to complete its sweep of SASKIN-PCU Dasmarinas, 25-18, 25-22, 26-24, in Pool B of the Spikers’ Turf Invitational Conference on Sunday, October 22, at the Paco Arena in Manila.

The Airmen were already on their way to securing the game after Ralph Calasin converted an off-the-block attack that put them up, 24-22, in the third set before Gaylord Dela Cruz tried to make things happen for the Dolphins.

Spiker's Turf Invitational: Airforce vs Dolphins on October 22, 2023. [PVL Images]
Spiker’s Turf Invitational: Airforce vs Dolphins on October 22, 2023. [PVL Images]

Dela Cruz answered with an off-the-block hit of his to slice the lead to just one while Reynald Honra’s attack, which was called out by the officials, was counted in following a challenge by the PCU Dasmarinas coaching staff, sending the game to a deuce.

Air Force, however, caught a lucky break in the following play as Honra, who hammered down a free ball, was whistled for a net violation, which opened up the opportunity for Nino Jeruz to seal the deal with a block on Kayle Monforte.

“Nagkaroon ng kumpyansa yung mga bata kasi panay error namin. Kung mageensayo kami, pagiigihan pa namin kasi nawawala yung service at receive namin,” said Airmen head coach Jhimson Mirza.

“May errors kaming service, tapos yung mga receive namin medyo nawala bandang huli kaya dumikit sila. Lumamang pa nga yung kalaban,” he added.

Ranran Abdilla, who came off the bench, scored 14 points on 12 attacks to lead the Air Force, which moved to 1-0 in Pool B while Ruben Inaudito added 13 points on 11 attacks and two blocks.

Edwin Tolentino added eight markers, which included two blocks, while Rodolfo Labrador had seven points after an hour and 26 minutes of game time.

“At least experienced players sila so alam na nila yung gagawin nila. Konting ano na lang, konting sabi lang sa kanila kung anong gagawin nila,” added Mirza.

Honra led the young Dolphins (0-1) with 15 points on 11 attacks and four blocks while team captain Lan Carlo Agatep registered 12 points to go along with eight excellent receptions and three digs.

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