Philippine volleyball

Air Force edges Manileño in busy PNVF Champions League men’s inaugural

Air Force edges Manileño in busy PNVF Champions League men’s inaugural

ON THE VERGE. John Vic de Guzman and the Aguilas move one win closer from punching their semifinals ticket.


Air Force survives a five-set thriller against Manileño to take an early lead in Pool A, while Negros and Dasmariñas emerge victorious in Pool B

The Go For Gold – Air Force Aguilas pulled out all the stops to edge VNS Manileño Spikers, 23-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23, 15-11, in a rousing opener of the PNVF Champions League men’s division at the Aquamarine Recreational Center in Lipa, Batangas on Monday, November 29.

Mark Gil Alfafara delivered 19 points highlighted by 5 blocks, including his denial on a Roniey Adviento attack that secured the win for the Aguilas after a grueling two hours.

VNS Manileño narrowed the gap to 11-13 in the fifth and final set before a Kim Malabunga kill and an Alfafara block allowed Air Force to take an early lead in the three-team Pool A.

Malabunga churned out 16 points in the win, while John Vic de Guzman also put up 16 points for the Aguilas.

Despite the win, Air Force coach Dante Alinsunurin does not want his wards to relax as they shoot for their semifinals berth against the
Basilan Steel Spikers on Tuesday.

Beating Basilan will propel Air Force to No. 1 in Pool A – with only the top two squads from the group advancing to the last four.

“Any team can beat everybody,” said Alinsunurin. “We have a fresh start and the team which is very determined to win will reach the top.”

Morris Gavan topscored for VNS with 17 points, while John Benedict San Andres chimed in 13 points and 16 receptions. 

Over in Pool B, MRT – Negros averted a monumental meltdown and opened its campaign victorious with a gritty 25-22, 25-16, 21-25, 21-25, 15-12 win over the Sabong International Spikers.

Jian Matthew Salarzon netted 18 points off 5 blocks and 3 aces as Negros got its act together in the final set after wasting a two-set advantage.

In the final match of the day, Team Dasmariñas Monarchs gained a share of the lead in Pool B with a come-from-behind 23-25, 25-18, 27-29, 25-18, 15-12 triumph over Global Remit.

Madzlan Gampong starred with 23 points for the Monarchs, who capped a busy inaugural day that saw three five-set matches. –