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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Aguilas sweep Steel Spikers, make Champs League semis

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GO for Gold-Air Force grabbed the first semifinals seat in the Philippine National Volleyball Federation Champions League men’s tournament with a 25-15, 28-26, 25-20 victory over Basilan Steel Spikers Amin-Anak Mindanao on Tuesday at the Aquamarine Recreational Center in Lipa City, Batangas.

Relying heavily on John Vic De Guzman, the Aguilas of Coach Dante Alinsunurin showed their cohesiveness and hard-hitting prowess to complete back-to-back wins in the three-team Pool A. Alinsunurin praised De Guzman of his effort that netted him a team-high 17 points with three service aces.

“We have the same system because he [De Guzman] is also in the national team. It’s not hard for him to make adjustments, it’s very much the same,” Alinsunurin said. “We had a better performance today. We have a better effort in our service and receive so everything went well.”

Mark Alfafara added 13 points, seven receptions and three digs, and Francis Saura had nine points with two service aces for the Aguilas. Libero Ricky Marcos provided 17 receptions and 11 digs and setter Jessie Lopez tossed 13 excellent sets.

Team Dasmariñas posted its second straight victory at the expense of MRT-Negros, 25-16, 22-25, 25-20, 25-23, to close in on a semifinal berth from the four-team Pool B also on Tuesday in the tournament that has Rebisco, Pitmaster Foundation Inc., Top Speed, 1Pacman Partylist, Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee as platinum sponsors and F2 Logistics, Asics, PLDT, MVP Sports Foundation and Mikasa as gold sponsors and BCDA, Philippine Red Cross, Lipa City, Davis Paint and Emerald PVC Pipes, Fittings and Doors as silver sponsors with PNVF godfather, Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, chairman of the Champions League, giving his full support.

After scrambling in a five-set win over VNS Manileño Spikers on Monday, the Aguilas were cohesive on Tuesday. Josef Ramos

De Guzman knew that the Aguilas need to be in the same page if they wanted to become the first-ever men’s Champions League winners.

“It’s all about teamwork. Whatever you can give for the team, you can do it. Don’t think of what you can do, I mean whether you are the highest scorer,” De Guzman said. “The important thing is your contribution for the team. Our team’s jelling team so we can win games. That’s our goal.”

Esmail Kasim and Mohammad Jainor Sulayman scored nine points apiece for the Steel Spikers, the last team to make their debut in the tournament.

The Steel Spikers and the Manileño Spikers dispute the remaining semifinals slot in Pool A at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday.   The loser will be relegated to the classification round for fifth to seventh places.

Mark Calado again took the scoring mantle for the Monarchs with 13 points and collected seven digs.

Madzlan Gampong had 13 kills while Rosales had three blocks for a 10-point effort for the Monarchs, who will face Sabong International Spikers to wrap up their Pool B assignments at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Jet Nonoy paced MRT-Negros with 15 points, including two blocks, while Jian Matthew Salarzon and Christian Marcelino each had 14 points.

The games are live streamed over the PNVF official website volleyballphilippines.com, iWantTFC for local and international audiences, Puso Pilipinas and Smart Sports Facebook pages and YouTube channels and Gigaplay.

Image courtesy of PNVF

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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