MEN’S VOLLEYBALL: Rising Suns near sweep; Troopers rebound
9 a.m. – Cavite vs IEM
11 a.m. – Cagayan vs Army
Cagayan Valley 6 0
Champion Infinity 3 2
PLDT Home Ultera 3 2
Air Force 3 2
Cignal 3 3
Army 3 3
Fourbees-Cavite 0 5
IEM 0 5
Cagayan Valley turned back a rallying Instituto Estetico Manila, 25-18, 25-23, 25-23, to extend its streak to six while Army stalled Air Force, 25-22, 16-25, 25-14, 25-18, to stay in the semifinal race in the Spikers’ Turf Season One-Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan City Tuesday.
Peter Torres, who will lead the country’s campaign in the Asian Under-23 Men’s Championship set May 12-20 in Myanmar, unloaded 13 hits, including 11 on spikes, while Michael Zamora and Jan Paglinawan chipped in seven points each to help extend the Rising Suns’ streak to six in the league presented by PLDT Home Ultera.
But the Rising Suns needed to toughen up on defense and reception to frustrate the IEM Volley Masters and boot out the team that won the inaugural Shakey’s V-League men’s tournament last year from the semis race.
IEM fell to 0-5.
“We defended and received well, those really helped us,” said Cagayan coach Nes Pamilar in Filipino.
Earlier, Army dominated Air Force in the third and fourth sets to pound out the one-hour, 26-minute victory that put the Troopers to joint fifth with the Cignal HD Spikers at 3-3 behind Champion Infinity, PLDT Home Ultera and Air Force, which all tote 3-2 marks.
Only Cagayan is assured of a semis berth in the league backed by Mikasa and organized by Sports Vision.
Greg Dolor, also a member of the Myanmar-bound national team, fired 15 hits he highlighted with 13 kills while Benjaylo Labide and skipper John Ian Depamaylo had 14 points apiece and Joel Villonson added 11 markers for the surging Troopers.
The Airmen drew 18 hits from Jeffrey Malabanan and 11 markers from Edwin Tolentino but they just could neutralize the Troopers’ awesome firepower and got stalled in their bid to clinch the second semis berth.
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