Philippine volleyball

NU sinks Navy, reaches Spikers’ Turf finals
NU sinks Navy, reaches Spikers’ Turf finals

TIMING. NU-Sta. Elena's Obed Mukaba blocks an attempt by Navy's Jau Umandal.


National U-Sta. Elena picks up its second win in the round-robin semifinals to claim the first championship berth in the Spikers’ Turf

MANILA, Philippines – National U-Sta. Elena clinched the first title berth in the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference after a pair of hard-fought wins in the round-robin semifinals.

NU hammered out a 25-21, 25-17, 26-24 victory over the PGJC-Navy Sealions on Saturday, September 24 at the Paco Arena in Manila. 

Nico Almendras topscored again for NU with 16 points while block specialist Obed Mukaba switched on attack mode and fired 8 attack points in a 14-point performance.

The thrilling win – where NU bounced back from an early deficit in the extended third set before withstanding the Sealions’ rally – came two days after the Nationals rallied from two sets down to stun defending champion Cignal HD Spikers

Navy fell to a 1-1 tie with Cignal, which hurdled a tough second set for a 25-20, 26-24, 25-18 victory over VNS-One Alicia in the other semifinal match.

The results left VNS packing with a 0-2 semis record, while Cignal and Navy will dispute the last finals berth on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. 

Cignal bucked the absence of top hitter Marck Espejo in the last two frames as Louie Ramirez took over to lead the assault with his kills, and the rest backing him up with their solid all-around play.

Ramirez finished with 16 points while JP Bugaoan added 13 hits and Chumason Njigha chipped in 7 points for the HD Spikers.

Espejo, who had a solitary point, saw action only in the opening frame to rest a slight heel injury he sustained against the Nationals.

Earlier, the Sealions matched the Nationals’ 40 attack points but the latter put their main weapon on display again, coming through with 12 blocks, 9 more than their seasoned rivals.

Five of those they produced in their emphatic second-set romp.

The Sealions started strong in the third, staying 3-up at 9-6 before NU charged back and seized control on an 11-5 run for a 17-14 lead and pulled away at 20-16 on a Navy hitting error.

Navy, however, mounted its own rally, winning 5 of the next 6 points to force a tie at 21, then survived the first match point on an Mukaba service error.

But NU regained the lead on a disputed Navy mishit before Almendras finished off the Sealions with a clear hit. –

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