Philippine volleyball

Cotabato, Imus roll into Spikers’ Turf semis

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Cotabato, Imus roll into Spikers’ Turf semis

TAKE CHARGE. Jau Umandal leads the Cotabato Spikers' balanced effort.


Cotabato and Imus hack out separate wins to march to the Final Four and join unbeaten Cignal

MANILA, Philippines – AMC-Cotabato and Imus-AJAA trounced separate foes to clinch semifinal berths and join unbeaten Cignal in post-season play of Spikers’ Turf Open Conference at the Paco Arena on Sunday, March 12.

The Cotabato Spikers went through some anxious moments in the third set but swept the Vanguard Volley Hitters just the same, 25-20, 25-14, 25-23, to hike their record to 7-1, while the AJAA Spikers rolled past National U-Archipelago Builders, 25-20, 23-25, 25-22, 25-19 for a 7-3 slate.

Iloilo (6-2) and VNS (5-3) will dispute the last Final Four seat, with the former facing the Volley Hitters on Friday and the Cotabato Spikers on Sunday, and the latter hoping to get past the Army Troopers on Wednesday and against the Navy Sealions on March 19.

Joshua Umandal fired a game-high 13 points and 11 attacks while Jayvee Sumagaysay added 12 markers on 6 attacks, 3 aces, and 3 blocks as the Cotabato Spikers stayed at second behind the HD Spikers (9-0).

Madz Gampong chipped in 9 ponts while Fil-Am Steven Rotter debuted for Cotabato with 8 attacks for a 9-point output.

Cotabato coach Odjie Mamon said he’s happy with the results but said they’re still “working on the system and the team cohesion.”

Vanguard, which drew 7 points from Razzel Palisoc, fell to 1-7.

Earlier, Hero Austria took charge for the AJAA Spikers anew, unloading a game-high 22 points on 20 attacks, a block and an ace. He also produced 17 excellent receptions and 7 digs to spike another stellar performance.

Kim Malabunga posted 12 points, Francis Saura and Ridz Muhali chipped in 11 markers apiece, while Ronniel Rosales had 10 points for the Cavite-based squad.

“Of course I’m happy, it’s great that we won but I’m not satisfied with the performance of the team because I know how they play,” said AJAA Spikers head coach Sammy Acaylar.

Mac Bandola led the Volley Builders with 21 points on 19 attacks, an ace and one block as NU dropped to 1-7. 

VNS, meanwhile, overpowered Santa Rosa in the first two sets then hung tough in the next to complete a 25-17, 25-17, 29-27 victory and stay in the hunt for a semifinal berth.

Russel Frondo scored a team-high 13 points on 6 huge blocks as the Griffins climbed to the fifth spot with a 5-3 mark while Pemmy Bagalay added 10 points and finished with 13 excellent receptions and 5 excellent digs.

Jeremy Pedrosa and Rocky Motol chipped in 8 markers each while Ron Medalla and Jake Buslig had 6 points apiece for the Griffins, who will close out their elims campaign against the Navy Sealions on March 19.

Kevin Montemayor, who played for VNS in last year’s Open Conference, led the City Lions with 12 points while Yoyong Mendoza and Anruie Bakil had 8 and 6 points, respectively.

Sta. Rosa closed out its campaign with a 4-6 record. –

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