MANILA, Philippines – The NU Sta. Elena Nationals got off to a rousing debut at the 2022 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference with a four-set win over the Philippine Army Troopers, 20-25, 25-20, 25-16, 25-12, at the Paco Arena on Thursday, September 1.
National team spiker Nico Almendras led the way in scoring with 18 points off 15 attacks, 2 aces, and 1 block, while fellow Philippine team stalwart Joshua Retamar tallied 18 excellent sets.
Obed Mukaba recorded 13 points, followed by 12 from Kennry Malinis.
Meanwhile, Rey Taneo saw his 26-excellent set game go to waste in the loss as Patrick John Rojas led the Army in scoring with 11 points.
In the second game of the double-header, the PGJC Navy Sealions quickly dispatched the Ateneo-Fudgee Barr Blue Eagles in straight sets, 25-22, 25-19, 25-19.
EJ Casana erupted for 22 excellent sets in just three frames while national team player Joshua Umandal scored 13 to lead the attack department. Peter Quiel added 11 points, while Joveen dela Vega chipped in 10.
Led by 8 points apiece from Amil Pacinio and Kennedy Batas, only five players scored for the Blue Eagles in their second loss in three days.
NU will enjoy a long break before it returns on Tuesday, September 6, for a 2:30 pm match against the Navy. Meanwhile, Ateneo shoots for a breakthrough win that same day at 5:30 pm against the Santa Rosa City Lions.
Finally, the Army aims to avoid a quick losing skid on Saturday, September 3, as it faces Marck Espejo and the defending champion Cignal HD Spikers at 2:30 pm. – Rappler.com