Spikers’ Turf: Homebound Madz Gampong leads Army breakthrough
MANILA, Philippines—In what could be his last game for Army-Katinko before going back home to Tawi-Tawi City, Madz Gampong made sure to lead his team to victory past Santa Rosa City, 25-21, 22-25, 25-21, 17-25, 15-6, and end a four-game skid in the 2022 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference on Thursday at Paco Arena.
Gampong unloaded 22 points on 13 attacks, seven blocks, and two aces with 12 digs to boot as he kept the Troopers’ dimming semifinals hopes alive.
Gampong, who is set to leave for Tawi-Tawi on Saturday due to an undisclosed reason, joined hands with Benjaylo Labide to help Army regain momentum in the decider to prevail after a two-hour and eight-minute duel with the young Lions.
“We really wanted to win because we suffered a lot of losses. For me, I really want to get this win because this is my last game. I will go home,” said Gampong in Filipino. “I really want to help the team despite the adjustments because I was only able to train a few times with the team. I know they really want to win, too, we just struggled in our past games.”
But Gampong cleared that nothing is final yet as far as him leaving his team in the middle of the conference is concerned.
“I’m still thinking about it. I can rebook my flight. But we will still talk about it. I also want to help them reach the Final Four. I know that our coach needs me because we lack wing spikers,” he said.
Labide finished with 20 points, including clutch hits in the fifth set, as Army broke away from a slim 6-5 advantage. PJ Rojas chipped in 12 points and 14 excellent receptions, while John Daniel Diwa added 11 points.
Army tied Sta. Rosa with identical 1-4 records. But the Troopers’ semifinals fate sits on thin ice with a win by VNS-One Alicia (2-2) would oust them from contention.
Army takes on the VNS Griffins on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m., while the Sta. Rosa Lions battle the PGJC-Navy Sealions (3-1) at 11:30 a.m.
Jade Disquitado’s 22-point effort went for naught as the Lions sustained their fourth loss. Dave Lardizabal and Sean Labrador chipped in 12 and 11 points, respectively.
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