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Army, Sta. Elena near finals

Army and Sta. Elena stunned their fancied rivals and moved onto the threshold of forging a title clash in the Premier Volleyball League men’s tournament yesterday at The Arena in San Juan City.

The fourth-seeded Army Troopers turned to Romnick Rico, Lemuel Arbasto and Benjaylo Labide in beating the top seeded Air Force Jet Spikers, 25-23, 25-22, 21-25, 25-20, even as the Sta. Elena Wrecking Balls outsteadied the Cignal HD Spikers, 25-20, 24-26, 25-22, 30-28, in Game 1 of their respective best-of-three semifinal series.

Rico, Arbasto, and Labide combined for 43 points for the Troopers who likewise took advantage of Air Force’s 34 errors.

Both Army and Sta. Elena can advance to the finals if they win anew on Tuesday – set at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Edward Camposano shone brightest for Sta. Elena after the University of the East standout came away with an off-the-block spike and a huge block to push the Wrecking Balls on top, 29-28.

Fittingly, Ace Mandani sealed the win for Sta. Elena with a service ace.

Camposano led the Wrecking Balls with 22 points, while Berlin Paglinawan and Kurl Rosete added 13 and 12 points, respectively.