MANILA, Philippines – NU Sta. Elena dug deep in the clutch to wrest a victory from PGJC Navy in a thrilling five-set turnaround from two frames down, 15-25, 24-26, 25-19, 26-24, 18-16, in the 2022 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference at the Paco Arena on Tuesday, September 6.
Obed Mukaba led a defensive masterclass for the Nationals with 17 points off a staggering 10 blocks, 6 attacks, and 1 ace, while national team setter Joshua Retamar churned out 28 excellent sets in the two-hour marathon.
Nico Almendras scored 16 while Michaelo Buddin and Kennry Malinis tallied 13 points apiece as NU averted disaster to stay spotless at 2-0 alongside fellow undefeated squads VNS One-Alicia and defending champion Cignal.
Joshua Umandal paced the Navy with 22 points off 20 attacks in the heartbreaking loss, while captain Gregorio Dolor and Joeven dela Vega added 19 and 17 points, respectively, for the Sealions.
Meanwhile, the Santa Rosa City Lions capped the double-header date with a four-set breakthrough win over the Ateneo-Fudgee Barr Blue Eagles, 25-20, 17-25, 25-17, 25-23.
Mark Jason Baldos steered the offense with 18 excellent sets plus 3 points, while Jade Disquitado topscored anew with 11 points to help Santa Rosa improve to a 1-2 record.
Kennedy Batas paced Ateneo’s third straight loss to start the conference with 15 points as Amil Pacinio, Jr. added 14.
NU and Santa Rosa cross paths next on Saturday, September 10, 2:30 pm, as Ateneo gets another crack at victory that same day against the Philippine Army Troopers at 5:30 pm.
Before its Ateneo match, however, the Army will first figure in an armed forces clash with the bounce-back-seeking Navy on Thursday, September 8, 5:30 pm. – Rappler.com