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Air Force secures PVL semis playoff

Games Wednesday
10 a.m. – Sta. Elena vs Gamboa (men’s)
1 p.m. – Café Lupe vs Army (men’s)
4 p.m. – BaliPure vs Adamson (women’s)
6:30 p.m. – Pocari Sweat vs Air Force (women’s)

Air Force overcame the Power Smashers’ spirited comeback and scrambled for a 25-22, 26-24, 18-25, 17-25, 15-13, victory last night to assure itself of at least a playoff for a semifinal berth in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.

The Lady Jet Spikers proved steadier in a back-and-forth decider and pulled off the grueling one-hour, 52-minute victory, their fourth against a loss, that sent them to the semis of the mid-season conference organized by Sports Vision alongside the unbeaten Creamline Cool Smashers.

They also slammed the door shut on the Power Smashers, who dropped to joint eighth with the UP Lady Maroons at 1-5.

But for a while, the Power Smashers looked poise to averting an outright elimination when they battled back from two sets down with emphatic victories in the third and fourth sets. They led, 9-7, in the fifth but succumbed to pressure as the Jet Spikers leaned on their experience to survive a pressure-packed endgame, scoring back-to-back points that shattered the 13-all count and finished off the Power Smashers.

Mary Ann Pantiino fired 14 hits, Joy Cases and Iari Yongco added 12 points apiece while Jocemer Tapic chipped in 10 markers for Air Force, which yielded the battle off spikes, 53-58, but had more blocks, 10-8, and finished one ace better than their rivals.

Meanwhile, Creamline moved within a win from sweeping the single round elims as it ousted University of the Philippines, 19-25, 18-25, 25-18, 25-17, 16-14, late Saturday.