Spikers’ Turf: Navy sails to bronze medal, sinks VNS
MANILA, Philippines — PGJC-Navy claimed the bronze medal of the 2022 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference after bucking a slow start to pull off a 26-28, 25-18, 25-16, 25-23 victory over VNS-One Alicia on Saturday at Paco Arena.
Jau Umandal, the league and team’s leading scorer, played sparingly for the Sealions, but his teammates stepped up as Ronniel Rosales led the collective effort with 15 points to beat the Griffins in an hour and 50 minutes.
Navy captain Greg Dolor delivered 13 points to complete a series sweep following a 25-20, 25-19, 25-21 victory last Thursday. Joeven Dela Vega and Peter Quiel added 12 points each to give their team its first podium finish in the tournament.
“We’re so happy because Navy has been playing in the league for a long time but it always fails to reach the podium,” said Dolor in Filipino. “Our team only had two months to prepare but we’re happy that we fought hard until the end.”
EJ Casana dished out 24 excellent sets while Umandal and Christian Marcelino had nine and eight points, respectively. Libero Vince Lorenzo protected the floor with 20 excellent receptions and nine digs.
Navy head coach Cecille Cruzada hopes the team will keep its core for the next tournament as she believes it can reach the championship if they are together for the long haul.
“We’re happy with the results despite having new players. Maybe if we can keep this line-up, we can achieve our goal and our dream to win a title,” said Cruzada.
Ben San Andres, awarded the second-best outside spiker, lifted VNS with 19 points, including three aces, to go with 10 receptions and four digs. Kevin Montemayor chipped in 15 points as they settled for fourth place.