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Air Force holds off BaliPure spikers

by Kristel Satumbaga

Games Wednesday (The Arena, San Juan City)
10 a.m. – Air Force vs IEM
1 p.m. – Megabuilders vs Cignal
4 p.m. – Creamline vs Power Smashers
6:30 p.m. – Perlas-BanKo vs UP

Hairy Fairy Air Force survived BaliPure’s late rallies to post a hard-earned 23-25, 25-21, 25-19, 18-25, 15-11 victory yesterday in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan City.

Bali Pure’s Risa Sato attacks against Air Force’s Mae Antipuesto during Premier Volleyball League action at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. (Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Bali Pure’s Risa Sato attacks against Air Force’s Mae Antipuesto during Premier Volleyball League action at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. (Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Leading 7-3 at the start of the decider, the Lady Jet Spikers saw the Water Defenders slowly inch closer, 13-10, with Grethcel Soltones at the helm before Dell Palomata took charge in closing the match in their favor by scoring the team’s last two points.

The win improved Air Force to a 3-1 win-loss slate at solo third, while pushing BaliPure to an even 2-2 card.

The 6-foot-3 Palomata, a product of University of St. La Salle in Bacolod City, only entered in the match in the second set after subbing for Angel Antipuesto, but sparkled with 16 points highlighted by four blocks.

Jocemer Tapic, meanwhile, led the Lady Jet Spikers throughout with 17 points on 15 kills, while Iari Yongco and May Ann Pantino contributed 16 and 12 points, respectively.

The foursome Air Force players outplayed BaliPure’s main scorers Aiko Urdas, Risa Sato, Jerrili Malabanan, and Soltones, who combined for 66 points in a losing effort.

“Bumalik lang yung ingay namin sa loob ng court kaya kami nagkaroon ng kumpiyansa,” said Tapic.

BaliPure actually had more attacks, 61-56, but its 34 unforced errors particularly in the fifth set led to its downfall.

In men’s action, Cignal walloped hapless Gamboa Coffee, 25-11, 25-15, 25-18, to score its fourth straight victory in as many matches.

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