MANILA, Philippines – PGJC-Navy pulled off a four-set stunner over defending Spikers’ Turf champion Cignal, 20-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-23, to cap a 2022 Open Conference doubleheader at the Paco Arena on Tuesday, September 13.
Jao Umandal led all scorers with 18 points and hammered home the killing blow that sealed the Sealions’ huge 13-3 rally from down 12-20 in the fourth set.
Meanwhile, EJ Casana tallied 18 excellent sets as three other Navy players breached double-digit scoring to help clinch a 3-1 record.
Marck Espejo saw his 17-point effort go down the drain as the HD Spikers not only missed an outright semifinals berth, but also snapped their 16-game winning streak dating back to the 2019 Reinforced Conference semis.
NU-Sta. Elena, on the other hand, booked its playoff ticket with no problems off a semis-clinching sweep, 33-31, 25-17, 25-18, over VNS-One Alicia in Tuesday’s opening game.
Kennry Malinis led the way with 16 points, all off attacks, while Mike Buddin scored 15 in the Nationals’ fourth straight win.
Nico Almendras added 9 points as Joshua Retamar steered the offense with 17 excellent sets – highlighted by a stirring first-set comeback from five points down to escape in extended time.
Kevin Montemayor paced the loss with 14 points, while Kim Malabunga scored 11 for the 2-2 Griffins.
The Navy now looks to build on its momentum-boosting win as it next faces the reeling VNS side on Saturday, September 17, 2:30 pm.
Meanwhile Cignal faces a short turnaround as it returns on Thursday, September 15, with a 5:30 pm match against the Ateneo-Fudgee Barr Blue Eagles, while NU gets next dibs on its fellow collegiate team on Saturday, 5:30 pm. – Rappler.com
Get yourself a brand new sportswear using this Shopee discount code.