Spikers’ Turf: VNS grounds Air Force for 2nd straight win
MANILA, Philippines—Pemie Bagalay and Noy Pedrosa powered VNS past the veteran Air Force side, 25-23, 23-25, 25-22, 25-23, to earn their second straight win in the 2023 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference on Wednesday at the Paco Arena.
Bagalay led the Griffins’ collective effort with 17 points, including the finishing touches in the fourth set, and displayed tremendous floor defense with 29 excellent receptions.
Pedrosa posted a career-high 15 points on 12 spikes, two blocks and an ace as VNS scored back-to-back wins to improve to a 3-2 record in fifth place
“Our opponents are really strong because they are a veteran team. For our team, Pemie and Ron [Medalla] are the only veterans so we were adjusting on our attacks,” said VNS coach Ralph Ocampo in Filipino. “Our composure against a veteran team was tested. We’re glad that we got a good result.”
Ocampo made the crucial video challenges in the last two sets. When they led 23-21 in the third set, he contested the attack of Ranran Abdilla that was initially called down the line and awarded the point to Air Force.
The Griffins’ ball challenge was successful to reach set point, 24-21, before Pedrosa blocked Abdilla to take a 2-1 match advantage.
In the fourth when VNS had a slim 23-22 lead, Bagalay’s attack was called out but Ocampo challenged for a block touch, proving that Air Force’s blockers touch the ball to reach match point. Bagalay delivered the game-clinching attack off the block.
Ron Medalla and Russel Fronda also stepped up for the Griffins with 10 points each.
Abdilla’s 25-point explosion was spoiled as the Airmen dropped to a 1-4 record.
Rodolfo Labrador added 11 points for Air Force, which lost Ruben Inaudito midway through the game due to a left foot injury.