Navy, VNS complete Final Four Spikers’ cast
PGJC-Navy imposed its will in the middle early then went to Jao Umandal in the third as the Sealions ended Santa Rosa City’s semifinal playoff hopes with a 25-12, 25-11, 25-22 victory in the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference at Paco Arena in Manila on Tuesday.
Umandal drilled in the bulk of his 12 points in the stretch where the Sealions had to dig deeper to thwart their young rivals’ last-ditch attempt to extend the match even as VNS-One Alicia repulsed Army, 25-20, 25-16, 26-28, 25-21, to complete the Final Four cast later.
Navy closed out with a 5-1 card anchored on a four-win run capped by its four-set upset of Cignal HD last Sept. 13.
“We’re happy with the win. We really prepared hard for this and it primed us for the semis battle,” said Navy coach Cecil Cruzad, whose wards brace for a grind against the unbeaten National U-Sta. Elena and Cignal HD in the next round, also a round robin phase.
Santa Rosa closed out with just a win to show in six games, tied with Ateneo-Fudgee Bar.
“We always believe our team is strong, and the players affirmed this by helping each other to achieve their goal,” added Cruzad.
Greg Dolor matched Umandal’s output while Jemmy Entig and Peter Quiel each pumped in eight points as the Sealions unloaded 43 attack points, more than doubling the City Lions’ 23-hit effort.