Spikers’ Turf: Greg Dolor carries Navy past VNS-One Alicia in semis opener
MANILA, Philippines — Greg Dolor dropped 20 points as PGJC-Navy edged VNS-One Alicia in a close three-set encounter, 25-23, 25-22, 25-22, to kick off the 2022 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference semifinal round on Thursday at Paco Arena.
Dolor, the Sealions team captain, nailed 18 of his 28 spike attempts and had two blocks to deliver his team’s first victory in the semis round, where only the top two squads will advance to the best-of-three championship series.
However, Navy coach Cecille Cruzada admitted that she wasn’t satisfied with the performance of her wards, who topped the elimination round, after giving up 29 errors to start their semis campaign.
“Our team didn’t play well in this match. We didn’t have (reception), our blockings were not synchronized. Good thing they adjusted in the crucial parts of each set,” said Cruzada in Filipino.
Jau Umandal, the league’s leading scorer, delivered 12 points and 15 excellent reception while setter EJ Casana dished out 23 excellent sets for Navy to outplay VNS in spiking, 51-33.
Starting Ronniel Rosales injured his left foot late in the first set and was not able to comeback, but his substitute Jemmy Entig stepped up with nine points.
Joeven Dela Vega, who sprained his ankle in the elimination round, returned to action as a substitute in the second set and started in the third to finish with seven points
Navy eyes its second win in the semis against National University-Sta. Elena, which is the lone team to beat the former in the elimination round, on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
“I told my players to take it step by step, focus one game at a time. We have to win every game because every game is important here in the semis,” Cruzada said.
The Griffins dropped to 0-1 and will try to bounce back against defending champions Cignal HD Spikers also on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
No one from VNS scored in double figures as Kevin Montemayor led the way with nine points. Ben San Andres and Yoyong Mendoza had eight points each, while Kim Malabunga added seven markers.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.